Renewable electricity generation in Scotland reached record levels in the first quarter of 2019.
That’s according to the latest figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which show during the first quarter of the year, energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower generated a total 8,877GWh of clean power.
This is enough to supply around 88% of households across the country for around a year and is 17% more energy than was produced during the same quarter in 2018.
The data shows the increase was part driven by renewable energy capacity across Scotland increasing from 10.4GW in March 2018 to 11.3GW in March 2019, a 9.1% rise.
BEIS also notes Scotland’s net exports of electricity in the first quarter of this year were at their highest point since the fourth quarter of 2017, with a net 4,543GWh exported – this is enough energy to supply more than 1.1 million households for a year.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “These figures show Scotland’s renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength. Last year, we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74% of our electricity demand from renewable sources and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues.
“We are seeing the growing importance of offshore wind, with capacity and generation both continuing to rise – with further projects under construction. I am delighted that installed capacity grew by 9.1% to reach a record 11.3GW by March this year.”
The Scottish Government has announced an additional £11 million of funding to restore peatland areas, which store around 1,600 million tonnes of carbon.