In Scotland, Renewable Power Has Outstripped Demand

A wind farm in rural Scotland.

A wind farm in rural Scotland. The Scottish Government

For the first time, in 2022, Scottish renewables generated more power than the country used, new government figures show.

The growth of wind power, coupled with a small drop in electricity consumption, meant that the volume of electricity produced by renewables in Scotland was equal to 113 percent of demand. While fossil fuels also supplied electricity, helping to smooth over gaps in renewable power, the high volume of renewable electricity is a “significant milestone,” Scottish Energy Secretary Neil Gray said in a statement.

Scottish renewable generation, by year, as percentage of demand.

Scottish renewable generation, by year, as percentage of demand. Scottish Government

Scotland, a country of 5.5 million, aims to produce enough renewable power to both meet its own demand and export clean electricity to other countries. But if Scotland is to further ramp up renewables, Gray said, the U.K. government will need to upgrade the national power grid. It will also need to make it profitable to store up surplus wind and solar power for when it is needed.

Across the U.K., fossil fuel power is at its lowest level in nearly seven decades. But clean energy proponents see hurdles to the further development, as the Conservative government has recently weakened its support of renewables. A recent auction of offshore wind rights in the North Sea garnered zero bids, as the terms offered by the government would have rendered any project unprofitable.


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