September an 'astonishing' month for Scottish renewable energy
Scotland has had an "astonishing" month for wind energy, managing to generate 100% of its energy needs through wind turbines alone for two full days.
WWF Scotland published analysis of WeatherEnergy’s wind and solar power data today (5 October) that revealed another record breaking month for Scottish wind and solar power output. According to the analysis, wind turbines generated more power than Scotland’s overall needs on Saturday 24 and Thursday 29 September - generating 127% and 107% of the country’s power needs on each day respectively.
Scotland also managed to direct 766,116MWh of electricity generated from wind turbines to the national grid – enough to power 87% of Scottish households (2.1m homes). This represents a 36% increase from September last year.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “September was an astonishing month for wind power, with output up more than a third compared to the same period last year. Even more amazing was that on two separate days, wind turbines alone provided output equivalent to more that Scotland’s total electricity needs on each day – the first time we’ve witnessed this twice in a single month.
“That Scotland has made such great strides in generating renewable power and addressing climate change is the result of many years of political and public support. However, if we are to continue to play a leading role globally in cutting carbon emissions, we need politicians to build on our renewable electricity revolution and expand it to other sectors such as heat and transport.”
Whilst not similarly record breaking, it was also a successful month for Scottish solar power. Houses fitted with solar panels generated enough energy to support 70% of electricity needs for the average household. Additionally, homes fitted with solar hot water solutions saw the panels generate 76% of their hot water on average throughout the month.
Commenting on the data, WeatherEnergy’s representative Karen Robinson said: “It’s not just wind power that Scotland can choose to embrace. Autumn may have begun, but for those homes fitted with solar panels there was still plenty of solar output to generate a significant proportion of an average household’s electricity or hot water needs.”
This is the second time Scotland managed to generate enough wind power in a day to meet the power needs for the whole country. The first time this was recorded by WeatherEnergy was on 7 August.
With Scotland continuing its nationwide renewables drive, the country is set to “lead England” on energy policy in a post-Brexit environment according to the Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC).
Despite successfully expanding renewable energy capacity, the Scottish Affairs Committee warned that the country's renewable energy sector is in a "state of flux", with policy amendments to the Renewables Obligation (RO), Feed in-tariffs (FiT) and Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions all contributing to an uncertain future.