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Quarter of Scottish power from renewable sources

More than a quarter of Scotland’s electricity now comes from renewable energy sources, according to official statistics.

The amount of energy generated by wind, wave and solar power increased by a fifth last year and now accounts for 27% of the nation’s energy consumption.

Energy efficiency drives are also thought to have accounted for a four per cent drop in the amount of power consumed.

Climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland is blessed with abundant natural energy sources, particularly in our seas, and today’s figures follow a steady trend towards Scotland’s energy becoming greener and cleaner.

“As consumption here fell by four per cent in 2009, exports to the rest of the UK are rising, with nearly a quarter of all our electricity produced going south, contributing further to sustainable economic growth.

“Green energy developments coming on stream in 2009, such as the Whitelee wind farm, are now feeding ever greater amounts of green power into the grid.

“As Scottish Renewables’ new figures recently demonstrated, Scotland is on track to hit our interim target of 31% of all electricity demand to be met from renewables by 2011.”

WWF Scotland said that with the right political commitment, Scotland could be 100% powered by renewable energy sources by 2020.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Would someone please explain the viability of the UK's Energy Plan where up to possibly 90% of renewable energy generation capacity (other than tidal and hydro-electric) - mainly in new Gas Fired Power Plants, is to be provided to cover the now all too familar and frequent scenario of peak winter power demand and no/low wind and sun conditions, and at a time when cheaper new shale gas is becoming available from new secure markets and other gas fields - massively increasing gas availability, increasing long term supplies and reducing gas supply insecurity!
    Why not simply add 10% more Gas Turbine Stations, which could all be built within the next 10 years or so, cancel any further Wind Farms and save the UK plc and UK taxpayers a great deal of money!
    The Watts', Stephenson's, Telford's and Brunel's and many other very distinguished engineers from our past must be turning in their graves!

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  • ..Moreover, there is no mention in the above article of well established Scottish Hydroelectric Power - what proportion does that provide? Including the relatively new, Foyers pumped storage facility on :Loch Ness.
    Alexander Gibb Partners, now part of Jacobs, wrote a book based on this ('Power from water' (1960), Alexander Gibb and Partners, A.O.L. Paton, and J Guthrie Brown). And the main Scottish electricity supplier were for many years termed "Scottish Hydro".

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  • I agree that hydro is often (deliberately) overlooked when renewables are mentioned. Large hydro is excluded for political reasons, and often only small hydro is included in the figures. The total contribution of hydro is still in excess of 40% of all renewable energy production in UK, although this is falling as more wind generation is installed.
    Foyers is a pumped storage scheme and so not a net contributor of renewable energy, but rather an energy storage system, absorbing power at times of excess capacity and releasing it when it is required. This is useful for matching output from wind power with demand . Also Foyers is not new, having been in operation for over 40 years now.

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  • Foyers is much older than 40 years. It was built pre World War II by the British Aluminium Company and upgraded to a 300MW pumped storage scheme in the late1940's or early 1950's by the former North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board when they took over Foyers on Nationaliation. The scandal is that Scottish and Southern Electicity did not see fit to incorporate pumped storage in their new Glendoe Scheme which is close to Foyers but with an even higher head. I know Glendoe has a Pelton Wheel which cannot be run in reverse but it should not have been beyond the wit of man to install a suitable turbine or turbines for pumped storage at such an ideal site.

    However all is not lost as I understand that SSE have plans for two new pumped storage schemes on the opposite side of Loch Ness from Glendoe and Foyers with a combined capacity of 1000MW.

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  • Glad this generated a little more comment, see these www sites -
    http://www.renewables-map.co.uk/details.asp?pageid=423&pagename=Foyers%20-%20Pumped%20Storage
    http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/03-04/wind/content/storage%20available.html
    http://www.scottish-places.info/features/featurefirst3852.html

    "The new scheme (305MW) became fully operational in 1975". I recollect an ICE site visit during construction in 1971 (1970?). Relatively new, for UK dams and the like - very little recent activity in this regard, the Severn Barrage should have been built meantime!

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