Scotland smashes onshore wind record

Experts have hailed the "incredible amount" of power produced by Scotland's onshore wind turbines in the first quarter of 2018, which is up 44% on the first three months of last year.

Onshore wind generated 5,353,997MWh between January and March 2018, providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of around five million homes.

The best day was 1 March when generation was 110,149MWh, enough to power 9,065,020 homes, which is the equivalent to 374% of Scottish households. Total demand on the grid that day was 63,807MWh, meaning that wind power could have supplied 173% of demand.

“Renewables have provided an incredible amount of power during the first three months of this year,” said WWF Scotland’s acting director Dr Sam Gardner.

“An increase of 44% on the record-breaking equivalent period in 2017 is clear evidence the investment made in this technology has paid off for the economy and the environment, putting Scotland at the forefront of the fight against climate change.”

Gardner said the UK Government must “stop excluding” the likes of onshore wind and solar from the market if Scotland is to benefit from the country’s full renewables potential.

Net-zero emissions?

The latest statistics come off the back of data revealing that more than two-thirds (68%) of Scotland’s overall electricity demand came from renewables in 2017. Highlights from last year included the world’s first floating wind farm delivering electricity to the Scottish grid and the country’s largest solar farm receiving the green light.

The Scottish Government last year committed to deliver 50% of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity, alongside plans to phase out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.

Scotland has already exceed its its 2020 target to reduce emissions by 42% against a 1990 baseline. Scottish ministers recently published plans to reduce emissions 90% by 2050, a goal which is 10% higher than the UK’s target.

But climate scientists have this weekend called on Scotland to further ramp up its efforts. In a letter written to the Sunday Herald, a dozen professors from Cambridge, Oxford, London and Edinburgh urged the Scottish Government to aim for “net-zero emissions for Scotland by 2050 at the latest”.

Meeting the Paris Agreement’s aim for a 1.5C world requires “richer nations like Scotland… to achieve this goal much sooner than developing nations,” the scientists claim.

The joint letter was initiated by the scientists and co-ordinated by WWF Scotland, whose acting head of policy Gina Hanrachan highlighted the “clear opportunity” for the country’s upcoming Climate Change Bill to demonstrate Scotland’s “international leadership” on climate action.

“Wildlife and people here in Scotland, and around the world, are already feeling the impact of climate change,” Hanrachan said.

“Scotland’s politicians must use the upcoming Climate Change Bill to send a clear message that we will secure the benefits of leading the global transition to a zero emissions economy.”

George Ogleby

Comments (4)

  1. Keiron Shatwell says:

    Hardly a shock when they’ve been installing these monsters all over the Highlands like there’s no tomorrow. Breaking records is easy if you keep changing the goalposts so hardly a news item.

    But what about the damage these wind farms are doing to the landscape of the Highlands? A fragile ecosystem that the SNP claimed it would protect as a wilderness? Millions of tonnes of concrete poured over peat bogs, thousands of miles of access roads bulldozed across the hills changing drainage patterns, scarring the land. Then what happens when the wind doesn’t blow, which does happen up here, and all these turbines become net consumers of power?

    I’m all for not burning stuff to generate power but the great wind rush is doing more damage to the environment and destroying one of the biggest assets Scotland has, its stunning landscape, than keeping Longannet Power Station open ever would.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    March 2018??? Between the 24th and 26th, the whole of the UK’s 18GW of installed wind power, only about 1GW or less was being generated, and at midday on 26th, generation stood at 0.28GW, about one sixtieth of the potential. To quote total generation in GWhours, is a deliberately misleading act. Electricity is useful only at the moment of generation. As Eric Morecambe might have said "All the right electricity; but not necessarily at the right time".
    How many times does it have to be said??
    But big money rules, and science and engineering are thrown out of the window. However, the longer the run, the bigger the crash.

    Richard Phillips

  3. Richard Phillips says:

    Keiron is on the ball, as usual!
    A major consequence of wind farm installation is the damage done to bird and bat population; the total UK death toll is estimated at some three million.
    This damage is also prevalent on the continent.
    But it makes money, not too much useful power, but then, that was never the purpose.

    Richard Phillips

  4. Scottish Scientist says:

    So-called Carbon Capture and "Storage" (and LEAK) CCS (or CCS-L as it should be called) is a fossil fuel industry scam that cannot reliably store carbon dioxide gas without it leaking sooner or later.

    Any "climate change plan" is doomed for which CCS-L is vital for it to work, as the Scottish government freely admits its plan is.

    "The Scottish Government is continuing to support the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a vital technology to meet our long-term emissions reductions targets." – Statement by the Scottish Government

    Back to reality.

    So because CCS-L doesn’t work, won’t ever work then we can easily deduce that the Scottish government WILL NOT EVER "meet their long-term emissions reductions targets", not with that plan that they just published.

    Any CCS-L dependent climate change plan is a house of cards.

    Luckily, if Scotland wants and needs a credible climate change plan then here is mine, which I have published under this title

    "Scotland Electricity Generation my plan for 2020"

    Scottish Scientist
    Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland

    * Wind, storage and back-up system designer
    * Double Tidal Lagoon Baseload Scheme
    * Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power
    * World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
    * Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power
    * Scotland Electricity Generation my plan for 2020
    * South America GREAT for Renewable Energy

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