Sector Insights

Renewables Powerhouse: Scotland forging ahead

This month, we’re focusing on Environment and Energy, here we’re taking a closer look into the renewables sector in Scotland.

Published: 09/05/2018

Energy keeps our country, our businesses and our homes running and all this energy needs to come from somewhere. As we’re sure you know historically this was provided by fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas. But as a finite resource, one day they will run out.

Added to that, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels has a knock on effect to the environment, speeding up global warming. So the move towards greener, renewable energy which provides a future where energy provision is sustainable, is important and Scotland is steaming ahead.

Renewable energy forms include wind (onshore and offshore), hydro, wave, tidal, biomass, solar and geothermal. In March of this year it was reported that Scotland is producing record amounts of its energy from renewables, with two-thirds of electricity generated by ‘green’ energy, as opposed to fossil fuels.

Scotland comes top in the UK for its renewable credentials with 68% of energy needs met without the need for fossil fuels, an increase of 26% year-on-year. During 2017, wind generation increased by 34% and hydro by 9%.

A wind turbine

Our country is also a pioneer in renewable energy thanks to the many hundreds of miles of exposed coastline and mountainous landscape on offer, add our climate into the mix and you create near-perfect conditions for wind and wave energy to flourish.

Not only is Scotland doing well in comparison to the rest of the UK, it is also setting itself out to be a world leader in sourcing eco-friendly energy after a bumper year in 2017. For example, the world’s first floating wind farm, just off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid in October. In addition, Scotland’s largest solar farm was granted planning permission from Moray Council in August last year. The solar farm will be equivalent in size to 40 football pitches. Whilst Eaglesham in East Renfrewshire is home to Scottish Power’s Whitelee Windfarm, the largest onshore wind farm in the UK, the 215 turbines generate enough energy to power almost 300,000 homes.

The Scottish Government’s draft Scottish Energy Strategy, published in 2017, sets out an aim to transition away from the country’s dependence on oil and gas, moving towards a low-carbon economy by 2050. The strategy aims for half of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity energy needs to be met entirely by renewable energy sources by 2030. And given the figures and plans highlighted above, it looks as though Scotland is in prime position to continue building its renewable energy credentials and reach for these goals.

It’s the perfect time to get involved and ScotGrad has a range of opportunities in the energy sector with placements advertised throughout the year. For more information about how graduates have supported business growth across Scotland take a look at our success stories. Never miss an update by registering with us.