Scotland has provided nearly a quarter of the UK’s clean energy generation in the year of the Covid-19 outbreak, with renewables accounting for 61.8% of its electricity mix, according to a UK government study.
A power generation document released by the UK government shows that 98.6% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption in 2020 will come from renewable energy sources.
The study, published by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said “total electricity consumption” refers to Scotland’s electricity generation plus electricity imports minus exports.
Electricity production and supply in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales 2016-2020 study shows that Scotland’s electricity demand has been suppressed by 2020 Covid-19 restrictions, combined with favourable weather conditions, resulting in the country’s net transfer to England and Northern Ireland. The export ratio reached a record high of 37.3%.
According to government statistics released on 23 December, BEIS reported yesterday that 87.6% of Scotland’s electricity in 2020 came from low-carbon energy sources (defined as renewable and nuclear). Low carbon power plants in England accounted for 55.9% of electricity generation, while nuclear-free Northern Ireland and Wales accounted for 45.6% and 36.1% respectively.
The 2020 closure of the 1,725 MW Aberthaw B coal-fired power station in Glamorgan, South Wales, ended more than 125 years of coal-fired power generation in the country, joining Scotland in the ranks of coal-free power generation, the report noted. England plans to close its last coal-fired power plant by October 2024.
But the BEIS document pointed to a 16% increase in coal-fired power generation in Northern Ireland two years ago.
Along with the release of the 2016-20 document, BEIS also released a separate quarterly update of UK renewable electricity generation for the July-September period last year, which it said had increased solar generation in the UK by 269 MW compared to the same period a year earlier.
However, unfavorable weather conditions last year kept UK solar power generation just 1.8% higher than in the third quarter of 2020.