The UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change has released figures on the generation of electricity in Scotland last year. They show that 2012 was a very successful year for the renewables sector in Scotland with 40.3% of electricity used coming from the sector. For the first time renewable energy had a greater share of energy production than both coal and gas making it the second largest source of production behind nuclear.
It may not be too long before renewables takes poll position with the Scottish government determined to move away from nuclear and towards 100% renewables sourced electricity by 2020. Indeed these new figures suggest that the Government is on course to meet its interim target of half of total generation from renewable sources by 2015.
There appear to be no signs of investment slowing in the industry. According to a leading trade organisation, there is currently 12GW (Gigawatts) of potential renewable energy in planning or with consent (more than double the current output). Moreover, 2012 saw record levels of capital investment with the vast majority of it going towards onshore wind projects.
Despite cuts in subsidies for onshore projects in George Osborne's Autumn Statement, the industry remains confident that reduced development and production costs will lessen the impact of such measures. The impressive figures released yesterday would certainly seem to underline the strength of the industry and should buoy the sector going forward into the New Year.