With nearly three-quarters of its energy coming from wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy, Scotland is well on its way to a carbon-free energy grid.
Scottish Renewables, "the voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry" predicts in a recent report that the country will soon be meeting its 100% target for energy from clean sources.
Wind, solar and hydropower are now Scotland’s main sources of electricity, providing around three-quarters of all the energy the country generates. The report also suggests that renewable energy as a whole is providing significant benefits to almost every aspect of the nation’s economy. The use of renewable energy fosters innovation and supports growth, the local economy, and protects the environment.
The report lists the onshore wind and solar projects of recent years as central to the reductions seen in energy costs in Scotland. Right now, onshore solar and wind are the cheapest sources of electricity available in the country. Together, they’re covering more than half of Scotland’s electricity requirements. All in all, the renewable energy sector directly employs a total of 17,700 people across Scotland, with thousands more involved in hundreds of community energy projects.
All this progress, the report points out, was made possible by favorable policy. The Scottish Government declared a climate emergency earlier this year and committed to zero emissions by 2045.
While the results so far are definitely encouraging, Scottish Renewables stresses in its report that efforts must be made to decarbonize the heat and transport sectors in a similar way.
“This publication sets out just some of the many benefits renewable energy is bringing to Scotland, from islands which rely on wind power for their everyday energy to rural businesses which have turned to renewable heat to improve their sustainability, both economically and financially," says Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.
“I’m hugely proud that renewable energy projects across Scotland are delivering on jobs and for communities, particularly in rural areas, while helping to displace the carbon emissions which cause climate change.”