Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called on the renewable energy industry to build on the successes of 2011.
Two weeks after Department for Energy and Climate Change
figures were released which showed 2011 is on track to be the best year ever for renewable energy
, with 94 per cent of 2010's entire output generated in the first three quarters alone, Mr Ewing said he was determined to make 2012 an even better year.
According to industry figures the year to October 2011 saw a record breaking £750 million of investment
in renewable energy
There are currently seven gigawatts (GW) of renewable projects operational, under construction or consented.
But 2012 promises to see further progress, with a pipeline of proposed projects to deliver 17 GW of generating capacity worth an estimated capital investment of £46 billion.
Scotland has the goal of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables by 2020 – estimated to require around 16 GW in 2020 – as well as more from other sources.
There is an interim target of 31 per cent by 2011, and the DECC figures show there is enough installed capacity in Scotland to hit that target.
Mr Ewing said: "Last week's figures show that 2011 has been a spectacular year for renewable energy in Scotland. We generated 94 per cent of the previous year's entire generation in the first three quarters of the year alone.
"I am relentlessly positive for 2012, and firmly believe we will build on 2011's successes to make it an even better year. We have a pipeline of £46 billion of investment in Scottish renewables, which amounts to 17 GW of generating capacity.
"This investment will create jobs and opportunities for all Scotland's communities, and in 2012 we will introduce a community benefit register to help all of Scotland's communities to ensure they reap the benefits of the renewable energy revolution, as well as reinvigorating the support we offer under our CARES scheme to encourage more local and community ownership of renewable energy.
"Renewable energy provides an opportunity to reindustrialise Scotland, and I am working with colleagues to ensure we help our young people obtain the skills they need to gain high quality jobs in this sector, as well as working with the oil and gas sector to ensure we transfer the valuable skills and knowledge of years of experience to the renewable energy sector.
"We are working ever more closely in partnership with the renewables industry and with communities to drive forward Scotland's energy revolution.
"Every berth at the European Marine Energy Centre has now been leased, securing Scotland's place at the forefront of marine energy development and deployment.
"Our offshore renewables task force is working to help energy developers progress more quickly through the licensing and consenting system in Scotland.
"My new year's resolution is to continue to do everything in my power further Scotland's reputation as a global green energy powerhouse in 2012."
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