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Scotland now produces more renewable electricity than it needs

Scotland now produces more renewable energy, mostly from wind farms, than it needs.
Graphic: Sean Creighton/The Progress Playbook

Scotland now generates more electricity from renewables — mainly wind — than it needs to power its economy.

The equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s electricity consumption in 2022 was generated from renewable sources, an increase of 26 percentage points from the year before, the government’s statistics office says in a new report.

However, Scotland still operates gas power plants as well as a nuclear facility, which is scheduled to be closed by 2028. The excess energy from those facilities and its growing renewables fleet is exported to other UK countries, with exports becoming an important source of state revenue.

In 2022, the country sold 18.7TWh of electricity (on a net basis — after subtracting imports) to its neighbours, bringing in around £4 billion.

While the data for 2023 is yet to be released, a number of new renewable energy projects were commissioned through the year.

For instance, the 1.1GW Seagreen facility in the North Sea was completed in October. That facility alone will deliver enough energy each year to power two-thirds of the country’s households, the developers say.

Yes, but: Electricity is only one component of final energy consumption, which also includes household heating, transport, and heavy industrial processes, among other things.

The government aims to have renewables cover 50% of total energy consumption by 2030 — roughly double today’s share.

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