Official figures have revealed that green energy production in Scotland has surged to record levels, as Holyrood undertakes an ambitious renewables programme.
According to data published by the Scottish government this week, Scotland’s renewable energy sector generated 4,590 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first quarter of this year – up by 45.5 per cent year-on-year. Green power now accounts for around 35 per cent of Scotland’s energy needs.
“These figures show that renewable energy generation in Scotland is going from strength to strength,” said energy minister Fergus Ewing. “The increase of 45.5% in renewable output in quarter one 2012 compared to quarter one 2011 is particularly encouraging when you consider that 2011 saw the highest output from renewable energy to date.”
Mr Ewing added that green energy projects worth £750m came on line last year, with a further £46bn of investment in the pipeline. By 2020, Holyrood aims to meet Scotland’s entire energy demand through renewable sources.
Last week, first minister Alex Salmond told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco that Scotland could become a world leader in renewable energy, potentially transforming the country’s economy.