Power surge for Scottish solar
Scottish homes with solar panels saw 100% of their energy needs met by the sun during a bright April.
The data, supplied by WeatherEnergy, should encourage more Scottish homes and businesses to embrace solar power, said WWF Scotland.
For homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was also enough sunshine in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness to generate an estimated 100% of an average households hot water needs, and 99% for homes in Aberdeen.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “With these sorts of figures, every home or business with a south-facing roof should seriously consider switching on to the full potential of solar power. Similarly, there is no reason why Scotland should not be home to commercial-scale solar farms.”
The country is more noted for its wind generation – turbines provided 146% of the electricity needed by Scottish homes in January – but solar panels could pick up the slack as winds die down in summer.
Banks added: “During the month, Scotland’s wind turbines generated enough output to supply the electricity needs of more than 1.5million homes. So as we approach the period of the year where winds are less powerful, it’s great to see the potential of solar to also contribute to our energy needs.
“With the announcement last week by Tesla of a new type of battery to store solar energy, more of the barriers to powering our homes and businesses using 100% renewable energy are finally being removed.”
Leading the charge
In Scotland, more than 35,000 homes and 600 business premises currently have solar PV arrays fitted, and the country sourced 50% of its electricity from renewables in 2014.
Karen Robinson from data-provider WeatherEnergy said:”Scotland has long been leading the charge when it comes to wind power. However, despite misconceptions, Scotland also has potential for sun-loving renewables too.
“The data clearly shows that there’s plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family’s electricity and hot water needs for most months of the year.
“With hundreds of thousands of roofs, it would make sense for more Scots to tap the sun’s power.”