South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the announcement that last month renewable energy overtook nuclear to become Scotland’s largest source of energy for the first time.
In the first half of 2013 renewable energy accounted for 10.3 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity generated in Scotland, compared to 7.8 TWh generated by nuclear energy over the same period. A further 5.6 TWh came from coal-fired stations and 1.4 TWh from gas-fired stations.
The SNP Government has set an ambitious target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“The continued growth of the renewable energy sector is fantastic news – particularly for Dumfries and Galloway.
“At the moment, the renewable energy sector is already worth £20 million a year to the local economy and as many as 1’500 new jobs could be created by 2020 if the region remains a major player in the sector.
“This is a major milestone for Scotland as renewable energy has overtaken nuclear for the first time to become Scotland’s largest source of electricity.
“It underlines the potential to create thousands of skilled jobs across Scotland in manufacturing and engineering – without damaging the environment
“With Scotland’s enormous strength in renewables we do not need to pursue increasingly controversial and dangerous methods of unconventional fossil fuel extraction.
Ms McAlpine added:
“Scotland has made strong progress, but we still have some way to go and if our renewables sector is to continue to thrive, it is vital that the right package of support for renewables is maintained following the introduction of electricity market reform.
“The Scottish Government recognises that and I know they will continue to make that case to the Westminster Government.”