Monday, 16 July 2012

Renewable energy doubles in five years
29 Jun 2012

Scotland produced a record amount of renewable energy last year, almost double the total from five years ago. The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change said 13,735 GWs of renewable energy were generated north of the Border in 2011, up 44.3% on the previous year and up 97.3% on 2006. Provisional figures for the first quarter of this year show another big increase in renewables output to a total of 4,590GWH, up 45.5% compared with the first three months of 2011. Energy minister Fergus Ewing said the figures show that renewable energy generation in Scotland was "going from strength to strength".

Jenny Hogan, of Scottish Renewables, said: "Not only does renewables industry now employ more than 11,000 people in Scotland, it's helping to reduce our carbon emissions, tackle climate change and insulate us from volatility in the gas market which has been responsible for the major hikes in energy bills over the last few years". However, the advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will today publish a report that will say the pace of measures to reduce emissions needs to increase fourfold.

It will highlight that, across the UK, although greenhouse gas emissions fell by 7% in 2011, only 0.8% of that can be linked directly to measures to lower carbon. David Kennedy, CCC chief executive, said: "Much of last year's fall in emissions was due to a combination of mild weather, rising fuel prices, falling incomes and transitory factors in power generation". Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: "This assessment of progress makes it pretty clear the Scottish Government's climate policy is at a crossroads". It could choose to stick to current path and miss the targets, forfeiting the many benefits, or it could increase efforts to reduce emissions to put us on the right road to a low-carbon future, he said.