The electricity generation mix in Scotland : the long and windy road?

Allan, Grant and McGregor, Peter and Swales, Kim (2011) The electricity generation mix in Scotland : the long and windy road? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, Special E (1). pp. 62-72. ISSN 2046-5378

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The mix of technologies used to generate electricity in Scotland has evolved over the last ninety years. Since 2000, there has been a rapid increase in renewables capacity and generation, particularly in onshore wind. This has been supported by UK and Scottish policy and the associated funding mechanisms, including the Renewable Obligations Certificates (ROCs). In the coming decade, the Scottish generation mix is likely to see unprecedented changes that will include significant investments in a range of new generation technologies. Section 2 of this paper explains how the existing Scottish electricity generation mix was attained and Section 3 identifies the key drivers of changes over the next decade. Section 4 briefly examines some published scenarios for the Scottish generation mix and sets these in the context of the (recently updated) Scottish Government’s targets for electricity generation. The scenarios are informed by recent technology-specific “roadmaps”. Section 5 concludes by discussing the implications for policy.