Renewables in Scotland

Renewables in Scotland

Scottish Renewables premiered a new animated video at the international Commonwealth Games renewable energy event in Glasgow last week highlighting the benefits of renewable energy to Scotland.

The video which has been launched to the public is designed to promote the key advantages of renewable energy projects in terms of energy generation, communities, the environment, and the economy.

Perhaps the most eye catching of the many observations noted in the video is that that the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere in Scotland by renewable energy developments is equivalent to removing all motor vehicles from the country for a full year.

That means every car, bus, lorry, and train journey both private and commercial would need to be taken off the road and rails for an entire year to match the contribution of renewable energy projects in terms of carbon reduction.

Other positive points in the video include the news that Scotland now produces 50% of its electricity demands from renewable energy, more than doubling its output from 2007, also that the renewable energy industry supports over 12,000 full time jobs in Scotland and that over £1bn was invested in Scotland by renewables companies in 2013.

Speaking at the video launch Scottish Renewables’ chief executive Niall Stuart said: “The renewables industry is widely supported by the general public and is providing undoubted economic and environmental benefits to Scotland.

“As the video sets out, renewable energy is bringing investment and jobs to Scotland, helping to cut carbon emissions, and delivering funds to communities across the country – exactly what support for the sector is designed to achieve.

“The video is designed to inform the incredibly important debate about how Scotland meets its future energy needs and set out the benefits of the huge growth in renewable energy output in recent years.”

Also present at the launch was WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Renewables are helping to create jobs and cut Scotland’s climate change emissions.

“So, it’s great to see initiatives like this highlighting the benefits of the switch to clean energy.

“These benefits will only increase as Scotland moves closer to generating 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables.”

Unlike some in the political sphere would have us believe the vast majority of Scots, as well as the rest of the population across the UK, are very positive when it comes to renewable energy projects.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Public Attitudes Tracking Survey shows 80 per cent of the UK public back “the use of renewable energy for providing our electricity, fuel and heat” while just one in 20 opposes the idea.

In the DECC’s most recent survey, compiled in April 2014, 59% of those asked said they would be happy to have a large-scale renewable energy development in their area, while the number who would oppose a large-scale renewable energy development was only 17 per cent.

In 2013 34% of those surveyed by ComRes in England stated that they would more than likely support a political candidate who publicly supports building wind farms. Only 24% would be less likely to do so. 36% said it made no difference either way, and 7% didn’t know.

So despite what the perceived general consensus may be it looks very much like that there is strong public support for renewable energy, wind farms in particular. People understand that we have to make a fundamental change in the way we power and heat our homes plus how we fuel our transport and are ready to embrace the positive solutions renewable energy offers.

We are only at the beginning of our journey to 100% clean energy generation but Scotland has already shown it is moving significantly in the right direction.

Although there are fewer coal burning power stations than in the past we are producing as much if not more electricity than ever and it is renewable energy that is playing a major role. This means we are making huge inroads in reducing our carbon footprint as demonstrated in the Scottish Renewables video.

As we have discussed in previous blogs it doesn’t stop there. Renewable energy has a positive impact on the economy with increased investment in the local infrastructure and the creation of jobs. It has a positive impact on local communities with good causes and worthwhile projects benefitting from community contributions as well as helping support local industries including farming.

We still have far to go to reach our outright target of 100% of our energy from clean renewable sources but as we as an industry continue to grow the tangible benefits are already having a positive impact upon our society.  We can look back on what we have achieved with pride but also must remain determined to see through what we set out to do and build a future we can also be proud of.

You can watch the full Scottish Renewables video “Renewables in Scotland” here

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