New figures by analysts at WeatherEnergy show that wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply, on average, 76% of Scottish households – or 1.8 million homes – last month.
And on 10 days out of 31, wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes.
The figures also show that for homes fitted with solar PV panels there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 100% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness.
For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 100% of an average household’s hot water needs in Aberdeen and Dundee, 98% in Inverness, 97% in Edinburgh, and 94% in Glasgow.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine commented: “These new figures are yet more evidence of how successful the SNP approach to promoting green energy has been – and exposes the short-sightedness of the Tories campaign against renewables.
“We have powered through our target to have 50% of Scotland’s electricity consumption come from renewables by 2015, and we are committed to implementing an ambitious and long term energy strategy to make electricity cleaner, more affordable and more secure for consumers
“Growth in renewable energy is one of the reasons Scotland is seen as an international leader in taking action to tackle climate change – and we will build on our record by bringing forward a new Climate Change Bill and setting an ambitious target for Scotland to reduce emissions by more than 50% by 2020.”
However, Gary Smith, Secretary of the GMB Scotland trade union, highlighted the inability of renewable energy to guarantee to be able to despatch power when the wind doesn’t blow and the wind doesn’t shine.
Speaking at the TUC UK Congress in Bournemouth, Smith said: “There were 46 days since June 2015 when wind was supplying 10% or less of the installed and connected wind capacity to the grid.
“On 4 November 2015, National Grid had to invoke special measures to keep the lights on.
“When your electricity supply has ‘gone with the wind’ the response of the renewable energy suppliers that ‘Frankly my dears, we don’t give a damn’ is just not acceptable.
“GMB Scotland supports a balanced low carbon energy mix including renewables, gas and nuclear power as well as carbon capture and storage.
“However the Scottish Government and refuses to replace the two nuclear power stations still running in Scotland. When they close, Scotland will rely on nuclear power from England and Wales on the one in eight days there is little or no output from the wind turbines. This is also not sensible”.