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Scottish Renewables Hits New Record

01 Apr 11:00 by Steve Walia

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Clean energy generation hit record levels last year in Scotland, according to official figures produced by the government.

The statistics published by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) demonstrated that renewables generated the equivalent of nearly 75% of the country's total electrical power consumption in 2018.

Scotland generated 27,708 GWh last year, which was a 6% rise against 2017 - a previously record-breaking year. This generation level is akin to powering each Scottish home with renewable power for over two years.

Offshore wind electricity generation grew in particular, with capacity hitting 623MW from 246MW. Generation also rose to 1,369GWh from 616GWh.

Net electricity exports in Scotland grew to 24,379GWh last year from 12,868GWh in the previous year, representing a growth of almost 100%.

Paul Wheelhouse, the energy minister, applauded the figures and said that they demonstrated how the renewable energy sector in Scotland was continuing to reach new highs. He explained that last year had been an important milestone in demonstrating the value of offshore wind energy, with both generation and capacity in the sector growing by more than 100% compared to the previous year.

Further offshore wind projects are in progress in Scotland, despite changing policies from the UK government. Investment in generation and infrastructure is still expected to be a priority for Scotland in order to continue work to create a low-carbon economy and to boost energy security of supply.

The UK government has faced ongoing criticism for changing its former subsidy schemes which were designed to encourage renewable energy developers to invest in new clean energy infrastructure, especially in wind and solar projects. Now it seems that the renewable power market cannot be held back in any way, and its successes speak for themselves.