Wind power breaks 100% threshold for Scotland's electricity demand
Wind farms in Scotland generated enough power to account for more than 100% of the country's electricity demand last month, according to new figures from WeatherEnergy.
Released on Monday (10 December), the WeatherEnergy figures reveal that Scotland’s wind power output in November surpassed 2,176,000MWh for the first time – enough to meet 109% of the nation’s monthly electricity demand.
The data also shows that generation surpassed the 100% threshold for domestic demand on 28 days of November’s 30, with production outstripping demand on 20 of these days.
During the month, the “best-performing” day for generation was found to be 28 November, when Scottish wind farms produced 92% more electricity than national demand. The “worst-performing” day, meanwhile, was 26 November, when generation was only sufficient to meet 75% of domestic demand.
The announcement from WeatherEnergy, which is part of the European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation’s (EACI) European EnergizAIR project, marks the first time that wind generation in Scotland has surpassed the 100% demand threshold for an entire month – a milestone WWF Scotland’s head of policy Gina Hanrahan has dubbed “truly momentous”.
“For months, output has flirted around the 97% mark, so it’s fantastic to reach this milestone,” Hanrahan said.
“Most of this generation is [accounted for by] onshore wind, which we know is popular, cheap and effective. But the UK Government needs to allow it to compete with other technologies, by unlocking market access for onshore wind if it’s to realise its full potential.”
The announcement comes shortly after UK wind farms were found to have generated a record amount of electricity, with the nation's onshore and offshore facilities having produced 14.9GW between 6.00pm and 6.30pm on 28 November.
Winds of change
Scotland’s wind energy sector is enjoying a record-breaking 2018. Onshore wind generated 5,353,997MWh between January and March 2018, providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of around five million homes and prompting experts to hail the first quarter as an “incredible” milestone for wind power.
The country’s overall wind generation then rose to 1,850,512MWh in October, when renewables accounted for 98% of the nation’s monthly electricity demand for the first time.
The Scottish Government last year committed to delivering 50% of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity. Scotland also outperformed other home nations by meeting its statutory annual climate change target for the third consecutive year, achieving a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 1990 baseline.
In fact, Scottish households have reduced their emissions footprint by an average of 25% in eight years, largely thanks to the growth of renewables and improved energy efficiency measures.