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.

Sarah George

Comments (3)

  1. Ken Pollock says:

    This is welcome news, but no mention is made of matching supply and demand! What happens when the wind blows strongly at night, when there is low demand? Where is the excess electricity used or stored? Perhaps it is exported to England, and then Scotland buys electricity back when the wind does not blow in the Highlands…
    A partial story, I’m afraid. A good headline, but one that leaves a lot of crucial questions unanswered.

  2. Ian Skene says:

    For the period 14 Nov to 12 December 2018 the Offshore Wind Generation for UK has been 10.9%. Onshore wind generation has been 7.2%. Cant get the numbers quoted on this report to add up to 100%.

  3. Richard Phillips says:

    Here we are again!!!

    It would seem that the illusion that wind power, entirely dependent on the wind,(now there’s a surprise!!), has, by chance, generated the number of megawatthours sufficient to meet the demand of about 97% of the demand over a period of time, is still with us. It seems to be a many headed Hydra.


    Generation on demand still has be available in order to satisfy demand whenever the wind drops. And indeed, being by statute forced to operate in this uneconomic fashion, has to be subsidised.

    The fact that wind generation between May 31 and June 5, this year, total metered wind power for all on and off-shore facilities, fell to less than 1GW (we have 20GW installed), was not highlighted by edienews.

    Richard Phillips

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