Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has hailed 2012 as the “best year yet” for renewable energy in Scotland.
Industry figures estimate that renewable energy capacity coming on line in Scotland during 2012 represents investment of more than a billion pounds for the first time, while industry surveys also suggest that the renewables sector currently employs around 11,000 people.
Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that, over the first three quarters of 2012, Scotland generated 10,401 GWh of renewable electricity – 15.2 per cent more than the same period in 2011, the previous record breaking year.
Grid upgrades worth £7 billion were approved at the beginning of the year 2012, and major job announcements included 750 jobs created by Areva, as well as announcements of jobs and investments from Samsung, Gamesa and Gaia wind. And in renewable heat, the Energy Saving Trust report published in November 2012 showed that in 2011 a record 3.8 per cent of the predicted non-electrical heat demand was generated by renewables – beating our interim target for 2011 of 3.5 per cent.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
"2012 has been the best year yet for renewable energy in Scotland, and I am confident that the industry will grow still further in 2013.
"The latest figures show that renewable energy in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2011 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2012 looks set to be even better.
“We have smashed our interim renewable electricity target of 31 per cent, with renewable electricity meeting 36.3 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption in 2011, and are well on track to meet our 2015 target of 50 per cent, and our 2020 100 per cent target.
"The Scottish Government is giving industry the certainty it needs to invest in Scotland. Scotland’s clean green energy resources are delivering thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment to communities across Scotland.
“Recent industry figures show renewable energy investment in Scotland is now set to exceed £1 billion in 2012 alone. The list of recent companies investing – or planning to invest – in Scotland’s renewable energy future shows that Scotland is increasingly the destination of choice for renewable energy investment.
“Other sectors of the economy are now benefitting from the renewables policy including civil engineering. One pound in every eight spent on civil engineering in infrastructure in Scotland comes from grid and renewables work helping to provide a sustainable economic future, and supporting 1200 jobs.
"Scotland has hit the natural lottery twice, first with oil and gas and with our green energy resources. We have a skilled, experienced and able workforce. We are aligning policy, political and industry will. Renewable energy is already delivering high quality jobs and investment to the people of Scotland, enhancing energy security and will keep bills lower than they would otherwise be. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity."
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