Winter gales generate 16% increase in Scots windpower last month compared to March 2014

windAnalysis by WWF Scotland of data provided by WeatherEnergy found that for the month of March 2015:

Wind turbines provided an estimated 1,006,018MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 110% of Scottish households (2.6 million homes) – this represents an increase of 16% compared to March 2014, when wind energy provided 847,696MWh.

Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. domestic and non-domestic) for March was 2,325,687MWh – wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 57% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption for the month.

Maximum output was on Tuesday, 31 March – when strong cold winds, rain and sleet lashed Scotland – with generation an estimated 61,858MWh, enough to supply over 5 million homes – equivalent to 210% of all Scottish households.

Minimum output was on 17 March, when generation was an estimated 3,248 MWh, enough to supply 267,325 homes – equivalent to 11% of all Scottish households.

Wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on 15 out of the 31 days of March, including two days where output was equivalent to more than 200%.

For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 75% of the electricity needs of an average home in Edinburgh, 71% in Inverness, 68% in Aberdeen, and 60% in Glasgow.

For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine in Edinburgh to generate an estimated 85% of an average households hot water needs, 82% in Inverness, 73% in Glasgow, and 59% in Glasgow.

Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland, commented: “Strong winds throughout last month helped to make it a record-breaking March for wind power output. Even better, wind output was up 16% compared to the same period last year, putting us on track to have another record-breaking year for wind power.

“But it’s vital that our politicians keep supporting investment in energy demand and energy storage, such as pumped hydro. Doing so makes hitting our renewables targets easier and helps on those days when the wind isn’t blowing so strongly.

“We’re not yet in summer, but for tens of thousands of homes that have installed solar panels to generate electricity or heat water, between half and three-quarters of their needs were met by the sun during March, helping to reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

“Given the growth in output from pollution-free wind and solar power, it’s hardly surprising that opinion polls show that the vast majority of public want the next UK Government to keep supporting the deployment of even more renewables. We urge political parties to listen to public and to do all they can to ensure Scotland is able to fully harness its massive renewable resource.”

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