According to a WWF Scotland analysis, wind energy capacity in the country generated enough electricity to power all Scottish homes on five out of the 30 days of September.
Based on wind and solar electricity data provided by WeatherEnergy, WWF Scotland says wind turbines generated 563,835MWh of electricity, an increase of 82% compared to September 2014. Wind power alone generated around 28% of Scotland’s electricity needs for the month.
” Given the big jump in renewables output during September it’s very likely we’ll be breaking even more records this year,” said WWF Scotland’s director, Lang Banks.
For homes with solar panels installed, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 65- 70% or more of the electricity needs of an average household in some of Scotland’s regions.
“Despite being well in to autumn, for the tens of thousands of homes that have installed solar panels to generate electricity or heat water, around three-fifths of their electricity or hot water needs could have been met by the sun during the month. This all helped Scotland to further reduce its reliance on polluting fossil fuels during September,” said Mr. Banks.
WeatherEnergy says as the country moves toward winter, output from solar power systems will drop off to a degree, but wind power output will start to ramp up.
In November last year, wind power generated 126% of the electricity needs of every home in Scotland. 2014 was the first time clean energy produced more power in Scotland than nuclear, coal or gas.
Scotland has set a target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its gross annual electricity demand by 2020 – a goal it appears it will have no problems in reaching. Just in practical offshore renewables resources, the country has an estimated 206 GW capacity potential.
At the end Q3 2014, 7,112 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity was installed in Scotland, an increase of 10.5% from the end of the second quarter in 2013.
Last week it was reported Scotland surpassed its target of generating 500 MW of locally and community owned renewable energy five years ahead of schedule.
Scotland’s renewable energy sector is also a major employer, supporting more than 11,000 jobs (January 2014).