Record year for wind power output in Scotland
Analysis by WWF Scotland of data provided by WeatherEnergy found that a record final month of 2015 ended a “huge year” for wind and solar power in Scotland in which the contribution of wind power was calculated to be up by 16 per cent on the previous year.
For the month of December, wind power generated enough power to supply over 100 per cent of Scottish households on 29 out of the 31 days. It also generated the equivalent of 63 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for the month.
When looking at data for the whole of 2015, wind turbines provided a record amount of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 2.34 million homes. This represents an increase of 16 per cent compared to that of 2014.
Wind generated enough power to supply over 100 per cent of Scottish household needs during six out of the 12 months and generated the equivalent of 41 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the year.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the use of renewables in Scotland had curbed millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and called on all political parties to put forward policies to make Scotland the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030.
Mr Banks said: “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. With 2016 being a critical year politically, 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 the extreme weather, so it won’t surprise many to learn 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 per cent of Scottish households, with six months where the amount was greater than 100 per cent. 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.”