Wind power generated 97% of Scotland’s electricity last year

2015 was a good year for Scotland's solar and wind-power industry
2015 was a good year for Scotland’s solar and wind-power industry

Wind energy generated enough power to supply the electrical needs of 97% of Scottish households during 2015, while solar power met half or more of household electricity or hot water needs during seven months of last year.

Publishing the new figures, Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland, commented:

“Without doubt, 2015 was a huge year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon emissions were avoided.

“And with 2016 also being a critical year on the political front, we’d like to see each of the political parties back policies that would enable Scotland become the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030.

“December will be rightly remembered for the damage done by extreme weather, but it also turned out to be a record-breaking month for wind power output.

“For 2015 as a whole, thanks to an increase in installed capacity, overall wind power output broke all previous records and was up by almost a fifth year-on-year.

“On average, across 2015, wind power generated enough to supply the electrical needs of 97% of Scottish households, with six months where the amount was greater than 100%. And, in the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have installed solar panels, half or more of their electricity or hot water needs were met from the sun for the most of the year, helping those homes to reduce their reliance on coal, gas, or oil.”

 

Source data is viewable here: –

http://www.weatherenergy.co.uk/sites/default/files/About%20WeatherEnergy_technical%20%282%29_0.pdf

This data is combined by Weather Energy’s EnergizAIR computer model to produce a realistic estimate of how much energy has been generated by the wind turbines in each region, it then converts this into how many homes could have been provided by energy from wind power.

Karen Robinson of Weather Energy added: “Despite misconceptions, Scotland also has massive potential for using solar power too.

“The data clearly shows that there’s plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family’s electricity needs for the majority of months of the year. With hundreds of thousands of household roofs, it would not take much to tap more of the sun’s power.”

Tomorrow (13 Jan 2015) there is an Opposition-debate which the SNP is leading in the House of Commons on UK economic and energy policy, and a party spokesman commented on the new WWF figures.

He said: “These figures – which show the remarkable progress made in recent years to increase Scotland’s renewable energy output – are testament to the priority the SNP government has placed on the development of Scotland’s low-carbon energy sector. 

“Scotland is well on its way to meeting this challenging target with renewable energy already accounting for almost half of the electricity we use.  However, Tory government cuts to support for onshore renewables threaten to undermine the progress made. 

“If the UK Government is serious about tackling climate change and growing the green economy it must halt its damaging cuts to renewables support.” 

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