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Why is this National Indicator important?
Renewable electricity, alongside other forms of renewable energy such as heat and biofuels for transport, has a key role to play in helping tackle climate change. It also offers opportunities for economic benefit. Scotland has a huge potential renewable resource - enough to meet our current peak demand for electricity several times over.
If we continue to support the development of new generation from a wide range of renewable technologies, such as onshore and offshore wind, biomass and, in particular, wave and tidal power alongside our existing hydro capacity, then we can create jobs in the manufacture and installation of the generators and the associated infrastructure/supply chain. Households and community renewable projects can also engage people in sustainable development, empowering them to help meet their energy needs sustainably.
What will influence this National Indicator?
Electricity generation in Scotland takes place within a privatised (albeit strongly regulated) market. Commercial generators will respond to a range of market, legislative (see next section) and regulatory signals in proposing new capacity, taking into account additional factors such as the availability and costs of grid connection and the global market price of electricity. Output on an annual basis will reflect the rate of new capacity build and will also be affected by elements such as wind speeds and rainfall.
What is the Government's role?
- Legislation - the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) creates a market mechanism which rewards investment in new renewable generating capacity and the Scottish Marine Bill will establish a system of marine planning giving industry the certainty they need for long-term investment in renewables.
- Grant support - we are continuing to administer grant support to a range of emerging renewable technologies, including marine renewables, which will be vital in providing the diverse and secure supplies necessary for our energy future.
- Research and development - our investment in the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney will continue to play a vital role in testing and demonstrating the capabilities of wave and tidal technologies.
- Infrastructure - we need to ensure that Scotland's electricity network is ready and able to accommodate new renewables capacity, large and small scale, and that the costs to Scottish generators of using that system are fair and proportionate.
How are we performing?
In recent years there has been an overall increase in the amount of electricity generated in Scotland by renewable sources. 1 In 2009, the amount of electricity generated in Scotland by renewable sources was equivalent to 27.4% of the gross electricity consumption in Scotland, compared with 22.0% in 2008. Gross electricity consumption is electricity generation less net transfers (or electricity demand plus losses and own use).
Source: DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change)
Note 1 - The Scottish Government has announced a more challenging 2020 target for this indicator - the target is now 100% of gross electricity consumed in Scotland to come from renewable sources by 2020.
View data on electricity generated by renewables
This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 0.7 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 0.7 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 0.7 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Statistics Topic Page
Who are our partners?
Highlands and Island Enterprise
Related Strategic Objective(s)
Wealthier and Fairer