It was announced this week that investment levels in the Scottish renewables industry are at record breaking levels. In the first six months of 2012 alone over £900 million was invested into the industry; £801 million of which went into onshore wind. In comparison £750 million was invested in the industry in the whole of 2011. Investment levels are confidently expected to top £1 billion by the end the year and could reach a figure as high as one £1.5 billion.
Niall Ferguson, Chief Executive of trade-body Scottish Renewables greeted the news at the Scottish Green Awards earlier in the week:
“We learnt that we smashed the 2011 renewable electricity target, that the sector supports some 11,000 jobs, is making a massive dent in carbon emissions, and output has again hit record levels.
“DECC figures show that Scotland’s renewable energy sector delivered some £900 million of investment in the first six months of 2012, putting us firmly on course to exceed an annual total of £1 billion for the first time in the industry’s history.
“More than £800 million of this came from onshore wind, showing the importance of the sector during a challenging time for Scotland’s economy. That investment is of course supporting thousands of jobs across Scotland in project management, civil engineering, professional services and operations and maintenance.
“This year could see more than double the level of capital projects delivered than in 2011.We attracted around £750 million of investment in the entire year of 2011 and more than £900 million in the just six months of 2012. If we continue at this rate there’s a good chance we could see in excess of £1.5 billion of capital projects.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing also commented on the news, issuing the following statement:
“Scotland’s clean green energy resources are delivering thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment to communities across Scotland.
“These figures show the size of the prize renewable energy is offering to the people of Scotland, with renewable energy investment in Scotland now set to exceed £1 billion in 2012 alone.
“The list of recent companies investing, or planning to invest, in Scotland’s renewable energy future shows that Scotland is increasingly the destination of choice for renewable energy investment.”
Another announcement served to further hammer home the point of just how much renewable energy, and particularly onshore wind, is contributing to the Scottish economy. A survey produced by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) shows that £1 of every £8 spent on infrastructure projects in Scotland is coming from investment in renewable energy.
CECA Scotland’s chairman Roger Philpott commented; “We’re not surprised the renewables sector is providing more than 15 per cent of Scotland’s annual £2 billion civil engineering outturn. It’s right up there with Scottish Water and Scottish Transport.”
It is hoped that the good news can continue to flow in for the Scottish renewables industry into the new year.