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Renewables produce more than 100% of electricity demand for first time

Renewable energy provided the equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2022 (PA)
Renewable energy provided the equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2022 (PA)

Renewables have provided more than enough electricity to meet Scotland’s needs for the first time, figures show.

Data from the Scottish Government shows that in 2022, the equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption was generated from green power sources – such as wind and hydro.

This was up 26 percentage points from the previous year.

It came as electricity consumption in Scotland fell by 4% to 22,040 gigawatt hours.

Energy Secretary Neil Gray welcomed the “significant milestone” for Scotland’s renewables sector.

He added the Government’s aim is for the country to produce enough from renewables for its own needs and to be able to supply electricity to other nations.

But he said progress is being held back by factors such as grid capacity, calling for “urgent investment” from the UK Government.

Energy Secretary Neil Gray called for investment from the UK Government to support the renewables sector (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Gray said: “For the first time Scotland has produced more renewable electricity than it consumed, demonstrating the enormous potential of Scotland’s green economy.

“Scotland has the skills, talent and natural resources to become a global renewables powerhouse.

“Our ambition is not only to generate enough green electricity to power Scotland’s homes and businesses, but also export electricity to our neighbours, supporting jobs here in Scotland and the decarbonisation ambitions of our partners.

“The significant growth in renewables will deliver a climate friendly energy system that delivers affordable, resilient and clean energy supplies for Scotland’s households, business and communities.”

The Scottish Government will soon publish its green industrial strategy, Mr Gray added, saying this will set out “the steps we will take to maximise the benefits that Scotland’s abundant natural resources can deliver in creating new jobs and opportunities across the country”.

But he added: “In a number of areas progress is being held back by factors such as grid capacity and the lack of a market mechanism for the likes of pumped hydro storage, which is why we need urgent investment from the UK Government now and more consistent commitment to industry in the years ahead.”

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, also welcomed the “record-breaking” renewable energy figures, hailing them as a “major milestone” which demonstrate the “enormous potential of our world-class renewable energy resources”.

But she added: “With electricity demand set to rise significantly in the years ahead, we must continue to swiftly deploy renewable energy projects at scale.

“Not only will this provide clean, cheap energy for Scotland’s homes and businesses but also support our wider heat and transport decarbonisation ambitions.”