Official statistics published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show the vital role nuclear power plays in providing low carbon electricity in Scotland, with more than 80% of the electricity generated coming from nuclear and renewable sources.
The regional Electricity Generation and Supply Figures report shows that last year nuclear provided 42.8% of Scottish electricity, with renewables accounting for 42.9%. However the data also shows that unfavourable weather conditions meant overall renewable generation decreased.
Torness nuclear power station achieved the highest output of all the UK’s nuclear power stations in the year and avoided 3.5 MtCO2; combined with the emissions avoided by Hunterston, it is the equivalent to taking 2.8 million cars off Scottish roads – almost all those registered.
For more than 60 years the UK’s civil nuclear sector has provided reliable low carbon electricity to homes, public services and businesses across the country. This means a strong and embedded supply chain which is in all parts of the UK, serving power stations, new build developments and decommissioning.
Commenting on the figures, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“Nuclear power has been an important part of Scotland’s low carbon generation mix, providing stable baseload power. With 86% of Scotland’s energy generation coming from low carbon sources, Scotland’s power mix demonstrates how carbon emissions can be reduced while maintaining a reliable and secure power supply for homes, business and public services.
“This is good news and shows clearly why a balanced mix of energy sources is good for decarbonisation as well as energy security.
“With two thirds of the UK’s currently dispatchable generation capacity due to retire by 2030, including all but one of the current nuclear fleet, the UK will need the full range of low carbon technologies to provide the reliable, secure and readily available power the UK will need.”