Renewable energy use is at a record high in Scotland, according to new government figures.
In 2012, Scotland got 40.3 percent of its electricity from renewable sources — up from 36.3 percent in 2011 and just 24.1 percent in 2010. The Scottish government plans to get half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2015 — a target it said it was on track to meet — and 100 percent of its electricity by 2020. Scotland’s renewable energy numbers are much higher than many other U.K. countries — renewables produced only 8.2 percent of England’s electricity in 2012, and in Wales, 8.7 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources.
“Renewable electricity in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2012 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2013 looks set to be even better,” said Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing.’
Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, told the BBC that if Scotland is to meet its target of renewable energy generating 100 percent of electricity by 2020, the country will need to invest more in offshore wind.
“In order to remain on target Scotland will need to deploy significant amounts of offshore wind in the near future,” he said. “It’s therefore vital that the U.K. government gives a stronger signal of its ambition on the growth of offshore wind in Scotland’s seas, as well as the necessary support needed to deliver that growth.”
Wind power is Scotland’s fastest-growing renewable energy source — in In 2012, Scotland’s wind power generation jumped by 19 percent. The country is home to the U.K.’s largest wind farm and constructed its first offshore wind farm in April 2010. The country is also working to harness tidal power and is home to world’s first commercial wave power generator.