Renewable energy generation hits record high
The 7,358 gigawatt hours (GWh) produced in April, May and June of this year was a 36% increase on the same timeframe in 2021 – and more than 25% greater than any second quarter previously recorded. It contributed to 18,568 GWh of renewable electricity being generated in the first half of 2022 – up 29% in 2021, the Scottish Government said.
Higher wind speeds, increased rainfall, and additional capacity coming online are understood to have contributed to the increases. Net-zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said the achievement will help deliver on Scotland’s climate obligations.
Renewable energy capacity increased by 10.5% from June 2021 to 13.3 GW in the same month of this year, driven largely by new wind farms becoming operational. An additional 16.7 GW of renewable electricity is currently in the pipeline, which could deliver a further 27.6 GW of capacity in the coming years.
Mr. Matheson said: “We are in the midst of an energy crisis which has been compounded by the illegal war in Ukraine. It has prompted governments across the world to consider how the avoid this situation happening in the future. Scotland’s energy transition can increase the security of supply and help to make us far more resilient to future international energy price fluctuations. Wind power is already one of the cheapest forms of electricity and our expansion plans for both on and offshore wind – supported by other renewable technologies such as hydro power – provide a fantastic opportunity to support an energy transition that not only delivers on our climate obligations but which ensures a fair and just transition for Scotland’s energy sector as we journey to becoming a net-zero nation.”
Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, said: “It’s great to see Scotland breaking records again for renewable power generation thanks to new power stations coming online and windy weather. With sky-high fossil fuel prices causing a cost-of-living crisis, renewable electricity is helping to lower energy bills and cut carbon pollution. The challenge ahead is converting as much of our heating and transport to run on clean, home-grown renewables to protect us against volatile prices and climate change.”