Beatrice — Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm
New figures released last week revealed that Scotland did not met its 2020 target of generating the equivalent of 100% of the country’s gross electricity demand from renewable sources. This target was set in 2011, when renewable technologies generated 37% of Scotland’s electricity demand. The latest figures show an increase of 8% in comparison with 2019, meaning 97.4% of electricity demand is now met by renewable sources.
Claire Mack, Scottish Renewables chief executive, said: “Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets have been a tremendous motivator to the industry to increase deployment of renewable energy sources, and in the last 10 years alone we have more than tripled our renewable electricity output — enough to power the equivalent of more than seven million households.”
Scotland has some of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world and The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill sets out a legally binding target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045.
Ms Mack added: “Renewable electricity is only a quarter of the picture. 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. The technologies we need to replace gas in our homes largely exist now but deploying these across the country is an enormous task.
“Scotland’s 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 across the country. Industry and government must continue to work together to address the challenges which exist if we are to fully realise our potential, meet net-zero by 2045 and achieve a just energy transition”Renewables powerhouse
Scottish Renewables is working with politicians of all parties to promote its manifesto for the 6 May election. Its policy document A Brighter Future: Priorities for the next Scottish Government
, sets out key recommendations which the organisation believes the next government can capitalise on to improve wellbeing, strengthen the economy, sustain the environment and set Scotland on the path to becoming the renewables powerhouse of the world.
Meanwhile, the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) published new research last week which shows that the number of people working in direct and indirect jobs in the UK’s offshore wind industry is set to rise significantly, from 26,000 currently to over 69,800 by 2026.
Ben Miller, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “This new research from the Offshore Wind Industry Council highlights the incredible opportunities presented by the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector. As the windiest country in Europe, this research shows that 30% of the UK's offshore wind workforce is currently based here in Scotland, with this set to increase to over 20,000 jobs in the next few years and grow even more as offshore wind plays an ever more central role in our net-zero economy.
“Many of these highly-skilled jobs are based in coastal and rural areas, bringing investment and opportunities to local communities which otherwise would not exist. As well as delivering local benefits there exists a huge economic opportunity to export these world-leading skills and technologies across the globe as other countries embark on their decarbonisation journeys.”