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Scottish renewables investment to smash past $1.6bn, says body

Annual investment in Scottish renewable energy projects is on course to outstrip £1bn ($1.6bn) for the first time, according to new analysis by industry body Scottish Renewables.

Speaking at the Scottish Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh, chief executive Niall Stuart said UK Department of Energy and Climate Change figures suggest it had been another “record-breaking year”, with capital spending having topped £900m in the first six months of 2012 alone.

“We learnt that we smashed the 2011 renewable electricity target, that the sector supports some 11,000 jobs, is making a massive dent in carbon emissions, and output has again hit record levels,” said Stuart.

Onshore wind saw the lion's share of the total spend, accounting for more than £800m. PV was a distant second, with just under £60m invested, while wave and tidal power received £3.6m. No investment was made in offshore wind in Scotland in the first half of 2012.

“We attracted around £750m of investment in the entire year of 2011 and more than £900m in just six months of 2012. If we continue at this rate there’s a good chance we could see in excess of £1.5bn of capital projects,” said Stuart.