Hot off the back of National Grid figures showing UK wind power blew away all previous annual records in 2015, new data has revealed that last month nearly half of Scotland’s total electricity needs were met by wind power alone.
Wind energy powered 100 percent of Scottish households for 22 days in the month of January, according to figures from renewable energy data provider WeatherEnergy, analysed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland.
In January, Scottish homes, businesses and industry consumed 2,354,117 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, while wind turbines alone provided 1,125,544MWh to the National Grid – roughly equivalent to the power needs of 123% of Scottish households (2.98 million homes).
Wind power in Scotland was “off to a flying start” in 2016, said WWF Scotland director Lang Banks.
“I have little doubt that 2016 will be another record year for renewables. However, what happens in the longer term will be down to our political leaders. That is why, as we approach the Holyrood elections, we’d like to see each of the political parties commit to ensuring Scotland becomes the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030. This is an ambition with real vision that would mean Scotland captures the full benefits of its renewable potential.”
Scotland’s wind and solar power facilities were key contributors to the greater UK’s record renewable stats in 2015, with wind generating enough electricity to supply the requirements of 97 percent of Scottish homes last year. Solar provided enough electricity and hot water for over half of all households for more than six months.
2015 also saw Scotland install 28% more solar PV than in 2014. During 2014, renewables accounted for 38 per cent of Scotland’s total electricity generation output and 49.7% of gross electricity consumption.
“2016 has begun very much like 2015 ended, with wind power helping to supply large amounts of electricity to Scotland’s homes and businesses,” said WeatherEnergy’s Karen Robinson. “All this renewable output is helping to avoid carbon emissions, something more important than ever as we begin to see the damaging impacts of climate change.”
The Scottish Government has set a target of 100% renewable electricity generation (gross consumption) by 2020.