4 Reasons Why Scotland is Leading the Way on Renewable Energy

When it comes to renewable energy, the technology has been advancing every year and with that has come increased capacity to produce energy for homes and businesses.

In Scotland especially, renewable energy has boomed and has overtaken nuclear power as the country’s principal power source. Analysis by Scottish Renewables has said that in Scotland wind farms, hydro power plants and other clean technologies provided the single largest source of electricity to the country in the first half of 2014.

Four reasons why Scotland is leading the way in the renewable energy sector:

  1. A record 40% of electricity used in Scotland came from renewable sources in 2012
  2. Scotland is being used as an example of successful development of the renewables sector, eg at the recent climate summit in Lima, Peru, other nations were urged to follow in Scotland’s energy footsteps by WWF Scotland Director Lang Banks
  3. Scotland’s geology and climate hold immense potential for future growth of renewable energy
  4. The Scottish Government believes that all of Scotland’s electricity will be generated through renewable sources by 2020

So why is Scotland doing so well in renewable energy? What is being invested in renewable energy? What does this news for the renewable energy sector mean for business in the UK and worldwide? How can businesses benefit from this encouraging growth in renewable energy?

Why is Scotland doing so well in the renewable energy sector?

In terms of European or even global standards, the natural resource base for renewable energy in Scotland has been classed as extraordinary as it has the most important potential sources: wind, tide and wave.

In laymen’s terms, the weather in Scotland, along with the commitment to developing technology, enables the country not just to embrace renewable energy, but to excel in the sector. Many people may say that the weather in Scotland can be very wet and windy; however, this makes the conditions perfect for energy sources such as wind, tide and wave to be extremely worthwhile and full of potential.

Scotlands Renewable Energy

When it comes to wind, Scotland has a history of strong wind records which make it the perfect location to develop and excel in wind energy. According to Scotland Info, the highest gust recorded at a low-level site was 123 knots (142 mph) at Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire on 13 February 1989. The highest gust recorded at a high-level site was 150 knots (173 mph) at Cairngorm Automatic Weather Station on 20 March 1986.

It’s clear to see that Scotland’s weather is perfect to make the most out of renewable energy.

The Scottish Government is also very committed to renewable energy – the Scottish Government said on their website that, “Scotland’s energy map is changing: the outlook is for cleaner, pinker, more sustainable energy.”[1]

Investment in renewable energy

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an estimated £29.8 billion was invested in the renewable energy sector in the UK during 2010-2013 by the Government with £27.7 billion of this being invested in renewable electricity. £6.9 billion was invested in onshore wind, £7.7 billion in offshore wind, £5.5 billion in solar energy and £4.7 billion in biomass. The remaining investment went towards renewable heat and renewable transport.

In order to reach the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets of half of the UK’s electricity coming from renewable sources, electricity is expected to attract the main share of investment, around £40.8 billion and investment in renewable hear is expected to increase to £20.1 billion in bioenergy and £3.5 billion in heat pumps.

Investment in renewable peaked in 2014 which is a good sign for businesses looking to invest in the coming years.

What developments are we seeing in our database for renewable energy contracts across the UK?

The renewable energy sector has been growing at a positive rate year on year and this is forecast to continue.

A quick search of Tracker’s contracts database for 2014 using the search terms, ‘renewable,’ ‘renewable energy,’ ‘wind energy,’ ‘wave energy’ and ‘tide energy’ flagged up 1125 contracts for the UK, 749 contracts in Europe and 544 contracts worldwide.

To really get the ins and outs of such data, see for yourself how Tracker’s Tender Alerts service brings current opportunities in renewable energy directly to you. In addition, our archive data can trace back previous renewable energy investment to see how the sector is growing and help you to identify emerging market trends.

  • In 2011, Tracker published 813 UK, 141 European and 194 worldwide renewable energy contracts.
  • In 2012, Tracker published 1199 UK, 706 European and 645 worldwide renewable energy contracts.
  • In 2013, Tracker published 1420 UK, 759 European and 640 worldwide renewable energy contracts.

Renewable Energy Contracts

Figure 1: Number of contracts published for the energy sector in the UK, Europe and worldwide for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The high volume of UK contracts for renewable energy is really encouraging and show the increasing importance of renewable energy to the public sector both in the UK and overseas.

It is essential to keep up to speed with progress in the renewable energy sector as electricity from renewable sources has already eclipsed other energy sources in Scotland, a trend which could transfer to other countries in the UK. Renewable energy is set to grow to 2020 and beyond, meaning that this is an ideal time for your business to benefit from advances in renewable energy. To find out how Tracker can help, start your free trial today.

[1] Scottish Government, Renewables Policy

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