Scotland sees 36% leap in windpower as charity presses for more investment

05/10/2016
Nathanael Williams

WWF challenges Scottish Government to be bolder on renewables as figures show progress for wind energy

THIS MONTH Scotland’s wind power capacity rose by 36 per cent compared to output from the same time last year, bolstering calls from environmental groups for the Scottish Government to enhance its support for windpower.

For the month of September turbines in Scotland provided 766,116MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply the electrical needs of 87 per cent of Scottish households.

Data provided by the statistical agency WeatherEnergy showed there was a marked rise in the amount of electricity from solar panel fitted homes, with abodes in Aberdeen, Dundee,Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow seeing an average of above 50 per cent of their household electricity generated.

“If we are to continue to play a leading role globally in cutting carbon emissions, we need politicians to build on our renewable electricity revolution and expand it to other sectors such as heat and transport.” Lang Banks

Lang Banks, the director of WWF Scotland, said: “September was an astonishing month for wind power, with output up more than a third compared to the same period last year.

“Even more amazing was that on two separate days wind turbines alone provided output equivalent to more than Scotland’s total electricity needs on each day – the first time we’ve witnessed this twice in a single month.

“That Scotland has made such great strides in generating renewable power and addressing climate change is the result of many years of political and public support. However, if we are to continue to play a leading role globally in cutting carbon emissions, we need politicians to build on our renewable electricity revolution and expand it to other sectors such as heat and transport.”

According to WWF the rise in windpower capacity last month mean that 2.1m homes could be powered by windpower alone. 

The windpower and turbine indsutry in Scotland has taken a hit as a result of the cutting of subsidies by the UK Government, which has refused to support offshore projects. Such a move has proved costly with both EDF and E.on re-evaluating their investments for large scale offshore and onshore wind projects.

Consequently the Scottish Government has been keen to emphasise progress on recent developments in tidal power and re-training of oil rig workers.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) published a report in March last year regarding ‘The size and performance of the UK Low Carbon Economy’, focusing on the years between 2010 and 2013. 

The report estimated there were 21,000 jobs in Scotland across the 9 renewable energy sectors with the largest single sector being onshore wind, followed by solar panels and then heat pumps.

Picture courtesy of Theodore Scott

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