Scotland makes 2015 renewable target but bigger challenges ahead

Scotland has as good as achieved its interim target of 50 per cent of gross consumption of electricity coming from renewables by 2015, with the proportion intended to hit 100 per cent by 2020.

New data showed renewable power generation in Scotland in 2014 was equivalent to 49.7 per cent of Scottish demand, up more than 5 percentage points from 2013, the Scottish government said.
Wind farm in Scotland
“This means that the 2015 50 per cent renewable electricity target has almost been met one year ahead of schedule,” the government said in a statement

However the circumstances that facilitated the growth in renewables in Scotland are no longer in place and the Scottish government recognises that meeting the 100 per cent target from this juncture will be more difficult.

Referring to the change in attitude by the ruling Conservative government, Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s energy minister, said “Despite damaging policy changes from the UK government, we will continue to harness — and bolster — Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure.”

Scotland’s success in embracing renewables has been aided by access to large areas of windy but economically marginal terrain and to a UK-wide power grid that helps to smooth out fluctuations in output.

Growth in capacity continues to grow, with 7,504 MW of installed renewable capacity in Scotland by the end of the third quarter of 2015, up 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

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