Scottish renewable energy output hits record level amid soaring bills

Higher wind speeds, increased rainfall and new sources led to a boom in the country's green energy creation.

Scottish renewable energy generation hits record levels amid soaring household bills iStock

Scotland produced a record amount of renewable energy at the start of summer this year, according to a new report.

Higher wind speeds, increased rainfall and additional capacity coming online helped boost the country’s output to 7,358 gigawatt hours (GWh) in April, May and June.

It contributed to a 36% increase on the same period in 2021 and over 25% more than any second quarter previously recorded, the Scottish Government said.

It came against the backdrop of tension in the energy market as the price cap for customers was raised amid uncertainty over supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A total of 18,568 GWh of renewable electricity was generated in the first half of 2022.

Energy secretary Michael Matheson said: “Scotland’s energy transition can increase security of supply and help to make us far more resilient to future international energy price fluctuations.

“Wind power is already one of the cheapest forms of electricity and our expansion plans for both on and offshore wind – supported by other renewable technologies such as hydro power – provides a fantastic opportunity to support an energy transition that not only delivers on our climate obligations, but which ensures a fair and just transition for Scotland’s energy sector as we journey to becoming a net-zero nation.”

Renewable energy capacity increased by 10.5% from June 2021 to 13.3 GW in the same period, thanks in large part by new wind farms becoming fully operational.

Prime Minister Liz Truss previously revealed plans to freeze energy bills at an average of £2,500 a year for the next two years from 1 October under the “energy price guarantee” – around £1,000 lower than the Ofgem cap announced for the same time.

However, thousands of households across Scotland are still expected to be plunged into fuel poverty over the winter months amid soaring charges to heat their homes.

Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, said: “It’s great to see Scotland breaking records again for renewable power generation thanks to new power stations coming online and windy weather.

“With sky high fossil fuel prices causing a cost-of-living crisis, renewable electricity is helping to lower energy bills and cut carbon pollution.

“The challenge ahead is converting as much of our heating and transport to run on clean, home-grown renewables to protect us against volatile prices and climate change.”

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