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29 December 2017


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Scotland remained at the forefront of the global renewables revolution during 2017 said environmental and industry groups said today (Friday 29 Dec).

Highlights from this year included the world’s first floating wind farm delivering electricity to the Scottish grid and the largest solar farm in Scotland receiving the green light.

Other great achievements are published in a synopsis of key Scottish renewables achievements of 2017 [1]:

Dr Sam Gardner, Dr Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland Acting Director said:

“There’s no doubt this year continued to build on the great success we saw during 2016. Scotland remains a world leader in renewables innovation, utilising our immense natural resources.  With well over half of our electricity needs now being met from renewable sources the low carbon revolution is well and truly underway.

"We now need to build on the success we’ve seen in renewable electricity to drive forward renewable energy in our heat and transport sectors. The Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 50 per cent of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity was one of the year’s most significant signals of intent. The announcement about phasing out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 is an important first step but the commitment to 50% renewable energy needs to be matched by bold, concrete new actions to deliver."

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:

“The achievements made by Scotland’s renewable energy industry in 2017 are something of which the whole country can be proud.

“In an uncertain policy environment the 26,000 people who work in green energy have continued to ensure that the maximum economic, social and environmental benefits from the growth of renewables are delivered across Scotland.

“Also worthy of mention is the work which is being carried out in offshore wind, where projects are now starting to get steel in the water, providing a long-awaited boost for that sector’s many talented supply chain businesses.

 “With the active backing of government, and the determination of industry, this industry can continue to deliver the benefits of our commitment to tackle climate change, bring secure, affordable energy to the UK and assist in the shift to a cleaner, more sustainable energy system.”

Dave Pearson Director of STAR Renewables said:

“We know that there is an eight fold surplus of heat in the Clyde for large heat pumps to deliver the heat that Glasgow city centre needs. The Scottish Government funding in the Gorbals will allow us to demonstrate this. However, widespread uptake needs more than vision and support. We must see downward pressure on the use of gas as despite it being a large contributor to climate emissions (NOx as well as CO2) it is still the accepted norm even when renewable heat will result in cleaner air and more jobs. It is fundamentally wrong for public sector funds to be spent in Universities, Hospitals, schools etc on the continued use of gas that will undermine progress towards national and international goals.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Synopsis of renewable achievements in Scotland during 2017


RENEWABLES: The Scottish Government commit to delivering 50% of all Scotland’s energy from renewables by 2030, across heat, transport and electricity.

WIND: Small wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind celebrates the production of its 1000th turbine since the company moved its operations from Denmark to Glasgow.


POWER LINK: Plans for a 400-mile subsea power cable linking Scotland and Norway given a boost after the EU agreed to part-fund its development phase.

TIDAL: Atlantis Resources installs the final turbine in the first phase of its tidal energy project, bringing the number generating electricity at the MeyGen site in the Pentland Firth to four.


COMMUNITY WIND: Official launch of a Borders wind farm developed by a housing association in order to fund the building of new homes. The three-turbine project is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

SOLAR: A Scottish manufacturer of solar panels becomes the only company of its kind in Europe to be selected to work on an EU-wide project which will promote renewable technology.


JOBS: The number of workers in Scotland employed in the low carbon and renewables sector has risen to 58,500 in 2015 - up from 43,500 in 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics.

COMMUNITY WIND: The first large community-owned turbine in mainland Highlands begins generating electricity.


HEAT: The River Clyde is to lead the low carbon industrial revolution, by providing renewable heat and hot water to Glasgow’s legendary Gorbals area.

OFFSHORE WIND: Scottish Power wins the right to build two offshore wind farms in the US which it says could eventually power 400,000 homes.  The two sites combined are more than double the size of the energy giant's operations in the UK.


TIDAL POWER: Scottish ministers grant permission for a major tidal energy park off the coast of Islay.

KITE POWER: Kite Power Systems, the Scottish-based company developing the world’s first innovative wind farm powered by giant kites, secures £2million equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank.


OFFSHORE WIND: Research into a £2.6 billion offshore windfarm in Moray estimates it will bring £530 million to the Scottish economy.

COMMUNITY RENEWABLES: The tiny Scottish island community of the Fair Isle is to join the modern age with a network of wind turbines that guarantee 24-hour power.


SOLAR: Scotland's largest solar farm gets green light. Moray Council grants Elgin Energy planning permission for a 20MW project near Urquhart, which could see about 80,000 solar panels installed.

FLOATING WIND: The fifth and final turbine has arrived off the north-east coast of Scotland as developers press ahead with the world's first full-scale floating wind farm.


OFFSHORE WIND: Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm yet is set to be built in the Moray Firth off Scotland's east coast after a record low winning bid in the UK Government’s power contract auctions.

TRANSPORT: Nicola Sturgeon commits Scotland to eradicating new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 in the Programme for Government, which will drive forward electric vehicles.


ISLAND WIND: Scotland's islands are to be brought into a £557m support scheme for renewable energy. The Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland were previously excluded from bidding in the UK government's Contracts for Difference auctions.

FLOATING WIND: The world's first floating wind farm has started delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. Five giant turbines have been tethered to the seabed about 15 miles from Peterhead.

ONSHORE WIND: On 6th October wind turbines generated enough power to meet all Scotland’s electricity needs twice over.


ONSHORE RENEWABLES:  Turbines provided over three quarters of Scotland’s entire electricity demand during November.

BIFAB SAVED: BiFab, an engineering firm which produces fabrication for the renewables industry was saved from administration


HEAT AND LOCAL RENEWABLES:  Twelve projects to create local, green energy solutions have been awarded a share of £2.6 million through a government scheme to support low carbon energy.

TIDAL: Scotrenewables Tidal Power set another record with its floating tidal turbine clocking up over 1GWh in a record pace for the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.