Due to the disruptive weather in Scotland over the weekend, with winds reaching speeds of 20-30mph, wind turbines were able to harness the additional energy and provide more than 100% of the power Scotland needed for that day.

WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “While Sunday’s weather caused disruption for many people, it also proved to be a good day for wind power output, with wind turbines alone providing the equivalent of all Scotland’s total electricity needs.

“This major moment was made possible thanks in part to many years of political support, which means that across the year now renewables contribute well over half of our electricity needs.”

The turbines provided 39,545MWh of electricity to the National Grid, generating 106% of the total used by Scotland (37,202MWh) on Sunday. This figure represents the entirety of Scotland’s energy use including business and industry as well as households.

Policy issues

While this is cause for celebration, the future of renewables remains uncertain due to hazy political circumstances.

The renewable energy sector has been in a “state of flux” recently due to amendments to green policy and a lack of communication between UK and Scottish governments with sustainability professionals and experts, threatening the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector.

Commentating on the situation, Banks added: “If we want this ensure we reap the many benefits of becoming a low carbon economy we need to see this political support for renewables continue.

“We also need the Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy to set a goal of securing half of all of our energy, across electricity, heat and transport, from renewables by 2030.”

Despite these worries, Scotland is still a leading nation when it comes to cutting emissions. Earlier this year, Scotland exceeded its 2020 emission reduction target six years early and introduced further plans to establish new sustainability objectives as a result.

Over the last 25 years, only Sweden has achieved bigger greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction levels than Scotland across Western Europe.

Alex Baldwin

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