Frequently Asked Questions
Energy in Scotland: Get the facts
- Energy sector employment (excluding renewables) rose 10% between 2006 and 2007 to 40,700, which represents 23% of GB energy sector total
- Scotland exported 24% of its electricity 2009
- Scotland has two coal-fired power stations, Longannet and Cockenzie. Together, the two stations provide approximately 33% of Scotland's electricity
- Around 10,000 jobs are estimated in clean fossil fuels and carbon capture and storage in Scotland
- An estimated 21.5 gigawatts (GW) of commercial capacity could be harnessed from the waters around Scotland.
- Your questions answered
- It has been estimated that renewables accounts for at least 3,000 jobs in Scotland, with potential for thousands more over the next decade.
- The Scottish Government has an ambitious but entirely achievable target for renewable energy in Scotland to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity consumption and 11 per cent of heat consumption by 2020.
- Renewable electricity resources alone have been estimated at more than 200 gigawatts, several times Scotland's peak electricity consumption.
- Boosting renewable energy will also make a significant and important contribution to a sustainable economy.
- It's not all about electricity - more energy is used for heat and much of that is from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
- More information on renewables is available.
Wave and tidal energy
- Scotland has 25% of European tidal potential (14GW), and 10% of its wave potential (7.5GW).
- The world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney is testing new technologies for commercial deployment.
- The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters is the site of the world's first commercial scale leasing round for marine energy.
- The Crown Estate, which owns the sea bed, has awarded leases for up to 1.6 gigawatts of marine projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters - potentially enough to power 750,000 households.
- The Saltire Prize is the world's largest prize for marine energy innovation.
Scottish European Green Energy Centre
- The Scottish European Green Energy Centre aims to put Scotland at the heart of European green energy developments. This hub, based in Aberdeen but working around Europe, will play a pivotal role in the research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies, such as carbon capture and renewable heat.
- Scotland can get windy. As a result, onshore wind power has recently overtaken hydro power as the most common form of renewable energy in Scotland.
- The largest onshore wind farm in Europe is the 140 turbine Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow. Clyde wind farm, which will be even larger, has already been given the go-ahead.
- Scotland boasts 25% of Europe's off-shore wind resources.
- More information on wind power is available.
- Scotland was the one of the first countries in the world where electricity was harnessed from the water around us. That legacy is still visible - Scotland's ambitious hydro building programme in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in infrastructure which still produces electricity today.
- More hydro schemes are in the pipeline and a recent study - The Scottish Hydropower Resource Study - has found that there could be as much economically viable untapped hydropower potential to power a quarter of Scotland's homes.
- More information on hydro power
North Sea oil and gas
- The North Sea contains Western Europe's largest oil and natural gas reserves.
- Since 1970, approximately 39.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) have been extracted from the UK Continental Shelf. Further overall recovery is forecast to be in the range of 15-24 billion boe - although the exact amount of reserves remaining will depend on a range of factors including investment, technology and oil price.
- Total production of oil and gas was 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2010 (5% less than in 2009).
- Since 1964/65, the UK Government has raised approximately £283 billion in direct tax revenue from oil and gas production in the North Sea after adjusting for inflation (2010/11 prices).
- The Office for Budgetary Responsibility forecasts suggests that the North Sea will generate £50.8 billion in tax revenue between 2010/11 and 2014/15.
- Research by the University of Aberdeen shows that Scotland's share of North Sea tax revenue will exceed 90% over the next five years.
- Aberdeen is the world's second largest energy hub, behind only Houston. The representative body, Oil and Gas UK, estimate that in 2010 the industry provides 196,000 jobs in Scotland. Of these the UKCS is estimated to account for 110,000 with a further 45,000 supported in the export of goods and services and 41,000 supported in the wider economy.
Frequently asked questions
Page updated: Friday, October 19, 2012