Scottish ‘energy entrepreneurs’ now generate £350m a year.
More than £82m was invested in 117 independent renewable energy projects across Scotland last year, according to figures revealed today.
The spending by businesses, developers, farmers, landowners and communities means almost £700m has now been invested in the sector in Scotland in total, according to the sixth annual Energy Entrepreneurs Report produced by SmartestEnergy and being launched at the All-Energy renewables industry event in Glasgow on Wednesday.
The 1,213 independent renewable projects – those outside of the traditional energy supply sector – in Scotland have a total capacity of just under 3 gigawatts (GW). Together they generate electricity worth around £350m and are able to power more than 2.1m homes.
The latest figures show that in 2017 businesses in Scotland developed 22 new onsite generation projects, such as wind turbines to provide power for manufacturing sites and solar panels on warehouses. In total there are now 83 onsite generation projects in operation.
Scottish farmers are behind 237 commercial-scale renewables projects and landowners, including a number of estates, account for 172 projects. The number of commercial-scale community-owned projects, which generate funds to be invested in local amenities, now stands at 65. Specialist developers are behind the majority of schemes in Scotland, owning 552 projects at the end of 2017.
Scotland saw the highest percentage growth in overall independent renewable project numbers across Great Britain, with a rise of 10.7%. Its 21.7% share of total GB independent renewable generation capacity means it continues to punch significantly above its weight given its relative population size.