Clean Power 1 gw of wind power scotland

Published on January 6th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


Scotland Saw A “Massive Year” Of Renewable Energy

January 6th, 2015 by  

That Scotland saw impressive records broken last year is of no real surprise to those who followed news of their monthly wind energy generation numbers. New numbers published early January have only confirmed that sense of record breaking, with another record month and a “massive year” in total.

1 gw of wind power scotlandWWF Scotland provided the information, by way of WeatherEnergy, and found that for December, wind energy provided 164% of Scottish household electrical needs — a massive record, well up on what had already seemed to be a mammoth record, set in October, when wind energy provided 126% (though, as it turns out, before Scotland’s performance was brought to my attention, they hit 163% in February). Specifically, wind energy delivered 1,279,150MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough for 3.96 million homes.

In fact, wind energy generated enough energy to supply over 100% of Scottish household needs on 25 out of the 31 days of December.

“December turned out to a record-breaking month for wind power, with enough green energy generated to supply a record 164% of Scottish households with the electricity they need,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks. “Even on calmer days, wind still supplied the equivalent of over a third of electricity needs of every home.”

For 2014 as a whole, wind energy delivered an estimated 8,958,130MWh of electricity to the National Grid, or an average of 746,510MWh each month. That’s enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of all Scottish households.

“Without doubt, 2014 was a massive year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-wreaking carbon emissions were avoided,” added Banks. “With 2015 being a critical year for addressing climate change internationally, it’s vital that Scotland continues to press ahead with plans to harness even greater amounts of clean energy.”

Scotland Green Energy Solar power did relatively well throughout the year for Scotland, though it’s hard to come close to the country’s wind energy industry. Homes fitted with solar PV panels generated enough energy to supply homes in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness with an estimated 100% or more of their electricity needs throughout June and July, and 60% or more across the same four cities during March, April, May, August, and September.

“For 2014 as a whole, on average, wind power generated enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households, with six months where the amount was greater that 100%,” Banks continued. “And, in the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have installed solar panels saw them meet two-thirds or more of their electricity or hot water needs from the sun during several months of the year, helping those homes to reduce their reliance on coal, gas, or even oil.”

Karin Robinson of WeatherEnergy also commented on the remarkable year-that-was for Scotland:

“We’re famous in the UK for our obsession with the weather, but how often do we see it in a positive light? At a time when the world is desperately looking for low-carbon sources of energy, the data show that clean renewables are already playing a significant and growing role in Scotland’s, and the rest of the UK’s, overall energy mix. We just need to blow their trumpet a bit more.

The news came just a few days before WWF published another report, this time based upon technical analysis conducted by international energy and engineering consultancy DNV GL, which found that Scotland could be a renewable energy powerhouse by 2030, completely decarbonised and delivering renewable energy enough for all the country’s electricity needs.

“It’s great to see the vision for a secure, renewables-based future for Scotland independently tested and proven,” said WWF Scotland’s Climate and Energy Policy Officer, Gina Hanrahan. “It’s clear that Scotland doesn’t have to generate electricity from coal, gas or nuclear to ensure security of supply.”

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  • Vm

    According to its data, wind farms generated the equivalent of more than 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs during six of the last 12 months, including a “record” amount in December. This dipped to only 37 per cent in June when the weather was relatively still.


  • Matt

    A useful number at the top would have been 8.9 TWh in 2014 up from ? THh in 2013. Or up ? percent from 2013. I’m sure Scotland produced more wind power in 2014 than 2013; but can’t tell from this story. If it is up 200% that is a really big deal, 0.2% not so much. Also TWh is a better unit for number this size, you didn’t use Wh so why use MWh.

  • Martin

    Perhaps in the future it should be stated what the average house e-consumption is, so that people can compare to their own and that way have a better understanding.

  • There is a story that UK wind farms are being paid to shut off due to producing too much for the grid. This was reported in the Daily Telegraph so who knows. However, it says to me that UK needs to build out its transmission and delivery to urban areas like London. And maybe wind power could be operating at even higher yields than designed and reported.

    This issue is similar to getting wind power from the Great Plains to population centers like Chicago and further east. A new giant transmission line is nearing construction from Iowa to Chicagoland.

  • Larmion

    Why do Renewables UK and the WWF insist on using ‘power for X homes’ as a metric?

    Both media and their readers undertand this as ‘wow, over 100% of electricity from renewables!! ZOMG!’, especially those not dedicated to energy.

    In fact, Scotland’s figures translate to roughly half of total electricity from all renewables combined. Why? Because industry, schools, hospital retail and other non-residential users aren’t included in the figure. And all those non-residential users only use electricity to provide the goods and services residential users want.

    I’m beginning to think they deliberately want people to misunderstand them in order to overstate how much of a contribution renewable energy already makes.

    • Vensonata

      True. People must get the hang of energy demands vs electricity demands, household demand vs commercial and industrial demands. But some rah, rah is often helpful to make sure people don’t think, as has often been said, that wind and solar are trivial.

    • JamesWimberley

      Hear hear. The “x houses” is a dumb metric anyway because most people only have a very vague impression of the average electricity consumption in their own country, let alone in a foreign one. At least the “London bus” or “Wembley stadium” units of volume are pretty intuitive, if pointless.

    • Wind Energy’s Absurd

      Not only Renewables UK and the WWF but the Scottish Government itself. Its press release published on the SNP website: ‘Figures
      published today showing analysis by WWF Scotland of data provided by
      Weather Energy found that last year; wind turbines provided enough
      energy to supply the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households, or 2.36 million homes.’

      Not an ‘equivalent’ in sight! Transparent? Providing proper information to the people of Scotland?

  • Vensonata

    Even with their poor solar resources it would be entirely possible and economic to build and retrofit net zero solar houses in Scotland. The winter portion is fortunately easily made up by wind. Although the population of Scotland (5.2 million) is only about the same as greater Toronto, still it is a nice model for others to emulate.

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