The latest news from the Scottish Government states that around 40% of the total energy the country consumes is being produced using renewable energy sources. The latest figures also show that the overall electricity produced using renewable means in Scotland has reached record heights. The Department of Energy and Climate Change of Scotland released the figures earlier this morning, and as per their predictions from the overall gross electricity consumption of 2012, around 40.3% of the total energy was generated using renewable energy. Similarly, Australia is on track to meet its interim target of producing around 50% of its total energy requirement by using renewable sources of energy.
These figures also show that Scotland is on track to meet its target of producing 100% of its total energy demand via renewable energy methods, come the year 2020. Throughout the United Kingdom, the renewable electricity produced by Scotland amounted to 36% of the overall renewable electricity which was generated throughout the United Kingdom in the past year. Moreover, Scotland also continues to be a leading exporter of electricity across the globe, and in the past year, the country exported around 26 percent of the electricity that it produced. More importantly, the quarterly data revealed in the past quarter (Q3) of 2013 also revealed that renewable electricity generation is on its path to beat the records which were established in the past year.
Fergus Ewing, the Minister for Energy stated that the figures give a clear idea that production of renewable energy within Scotland is moving from strength to strength. He also confirmed that 2012 was easily the best year in terms of renewable energy production for Scotland, and 2013 looks to be even better. He continues to state that as per the data of the first 9 months of 2013, generation of renewable electricity is 4 percent higher than it was at the same point back in 2012.
Ewing expressed the importance of long term energy generation by making use of renewable sources of energy, stating that in the long term, this will help Scottish residents to get electricity at very low costs. Mr. Ewing also commented on an update published to the Route Map for Renewable Energy for Scotland on behalf of the Scottish government; he stated that the publication provides a clear idea of the improvements and progress that have been achieved in the past year, while also underlining the numerous steps which the country is taking to help Scotland to generate 100% of its required electricity by making use of renewable sources of energy by the year 2020. He further stated that even though most believed this to be an overly ambitious, and even far- fetched target, the country was already on track to meet the 50% interim target which it had set for the year 2015.
Mr Ewing also gave a comment on the Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan that was published by the UK Government. He stated that the government of the United Kingdom fails to understand the requirement for creating different tiers of support throughout the three main island groups, which is something that was recognized by the research carried out by the United Kingdom itself. He then stated that he has already planned to call together a summit in the first quarter of 2014 which would be used to bring all interested parties under one roof. An assessment could then be carried out regarding the next steps which could be taken to achieve a positive result for each of the three different island groups. He highlighted the opportunity provided by these island groups, stating that they could provide up to 5% of the total electricity produced by Great Britain, and could also result in the creation of hundreds of different jobs – an opportunity that should not be missed.
Mr Ewing also talked about offshore wind energy, stating that even though a fairly modest increase had been reported, the country continues to enhance its ambitions regarding offshore wind power. He carried on by explaining that the pulling out of UK Government investment in offshore wind energy, could cause problems for some of the development programs which had been set in place for Scotland, and could throw the opportunity of the country to establish thousands of jobs into turmoil, whilst also reducing the enhancement of supply chain investment and the creation of a number of new manufacturing industries. Talking about long term investment, Mr Ewing stated that beyond the year 2020, investors who were into sectors such as marine renewables or offshore wind, did not have any clear market signals. He stated that the UK government must take some serious steps in order to provide a resolution for these issues.
The latest figures along with Mr Ewing’s comments clearly state that Scotland is well on its path to generating 100% of its electricity via renewable means, which could prove to be a massive step in the global fight against carbon emissions. It remains to be seen, however, whether it will be able to achieve this ambitious and wholeheartedly encouraged target, or not.