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Renewables met 97% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2020


Whitelee Wind Farm, Scotland: “Farming the winds 01” by byronv2 is licenced by CC BY-NC 2.0

A BBC news report on 23 March 2021 [1] has revealed that Scotland reached 97.4% of its electricity demand from renewables energy resources in 2020.

According to this report:

“ This target was set in the year 2011, when renewable technologies generated just 37% of national demand. Industry body Scottish Renewables said output had tripled in the last 10 years, with enough power for the equivalent of 7 million households. The chief executive Claire Mack, said: ‘ Scotland’s climate change targets have been a tremendous motivator to the industry to increase the deployment of renewable energy sources. Renewable energy projects are displacing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon every year, employing the equivalent of 17,700 people and bringing enormous socio-economic benefits to communities.’ “

And Scottish government records for 2019 reveal that Scotland met 90.1% of its equivalent electricity consumption from renewables.

Ms Mack also added: ” Domestic and commercial transport accounts for almost 25% of the energy used in Scotland, with heat making up more than half, as well as more than half of its emissions. Currently 6.5% of our non-electrical heat demand is generated from renewable sources. Industry and government must continue to work together if we are to fully realise our potential to meet net-zero by 2045. ”

Longannetb was the last coal-fired power station to operate in Scotland, closing in 2016. This is an indication that Scotland has been steadily moving away from burning fossil fuels. And the sole remaining gas-fired power station opertes at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

Onshore wind facilities deliver about 70% of capacity, followed by hydro and offshore wind as the primary sources of renewable power for Scotland.

The Scottish division of World Wildlife Fund has praised these figures, but has also pointed out that more is needed in order to cut emissions from transport and heating. The climate and energy policy manager, Holly O’Donnell, called for an acceleration in the roll-out of electric vehicles and grants for renewable heating in Scotland. She said: “Not only do renewables reduce the impact of our electricity use on the climate, they also generate employment and income for communities around the country. In order to reduce greenhouse emissions from the transport and heat sectors we will need to continue to increase our use of cheap, clean renewables.”

1. Source: BBC News, 23 March 2021

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