Export figures show value of renewables industry

A sharp rise in the value of exports from Scotland’s utilities sector has underlined the growing opportunities that the renewable energy sector is providing to Scotland’s economy.

Recently published figures show that the combined annual value of Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK and the international community from the utilities sector has risen sharply, from just over £3 billion in 2007 to over £5 billion in 2011.

This 65% rise in the value of exports from the utilities sector mirrors a 67% increase in Scotland’s renewable electricity output from 8,215 GWh in 2007 to 13,753 GWh in 2011.

Earlier this week a report by academics at Cardiff University concluded that Scotland was leading the UK on the development of the renewables sector and highlighted the centrality of Scotland’s energy future to the independence debate as a key driver of Scotland being a driving force in this area.

Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie said:

“These figures show unequivocally that Scotland’s economy is benefitting more and more from the sale of utilities to our neighbours.

“It is no coincidence that as Scotland’s renewables sector has grown rapidly in recent years the value of exports from utilities has also increased remarkably.

“Renewable energy is giving Scotland enormous opportunities and generating significant levels of jobs and investment in our economy. These figures show that Scotland is reaping the benefits of this approach, with a sizeable boost to the amount of money the utilities sector is bringing into Scotland.

“Scotland is already demonstrating its credentials as a reliable provider of green energy to our neighbours and as we make further progress towards our ambitious renewable electricity targets, there is every prospect of the value of these exports growing further.

“These figures underline that Scotland is already a successful utilities exporter and with the powers of an independent Scotland, our success in this sector will only grow and develop as we sell increasing amounts of much-needed energy to our nearest neighbours.”

Notes:

Details of the growth in Scotland’s utilities exports can be viewed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0041/00412570.pdf (page 12) and show that their value has increased from £3.065 billion in 2007 to £5.060 billion in 2011.

The Cardiff University report can be viewed at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan/research/delivering-renewable-energy/diss...