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2014 a "massive year" for wind and solar power in Scotland - new data published

3 January 2015

Following a record final month, 2014 proved to be a “massive year” for wind and solar power in Scotland, new figures published today (Saturday 3 January) reveal.

Analysis by WWF Scotland of data [2] provided by WeatherEnergy found that for the month of December…

  • Wind turbines alone provided around 1,279,150MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply the electrical needs of 164% of Scottish households, that’s enough for 3.96 million homes – and a record for 2014.
  • Maximum output was on 10th December, when generation was an estimated 65,970MWh, enough to supply 6.34 million homes for the whole day – equivalent to 262% of all Scottish households.
  • Minimum output was on 4th December, when generation was an estimated 9,295MWh, enough to supply 893,000 homes – equivalent to 37% of all Scottish households.
  • Wind turbines generated enough power to supply over 100% of Scottish households on 25 out of the 31 days of December.
When looking at data for the whole of 2014…
  • Wind turbines provided an estimated 8,958,130MWh of electricity to the National Grid, or an average of 746,510MWh each month - enough to supply the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households, or 2.36 million homes.
  • The top two months for wind power output were December (1,279,150MWh = 3.96m homes = 164% of Scottish households) and February (1,152,047MWh = 3.95m homes = 163% of Scottish households).
  • The bottom two months for wind power output were June (281,735MWh = 0.90m homes = 37% of Scottish households) and September (308,302MWh = 0.99m homes = 41% of Scottish households).
  • Wind generated enough power to supply over 100% of Scottish households during six out of the 12 months – January, February, March, October, November, and December.
  • For homes fitted with solar PV panels, during June and July there was enough sunshine in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness to generate an estimated 100% or more of the electricity needs of an average home, and 60% or more in the same four cities during March, April, May, August, and September.
  • For homes fitted with solar hot water panels, in July there was enough sunshine in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness to generate an estimated 100% of the hot water needs of an average home, and 70% or more in the same four cities during April, May, June, and August.
Commenting on the data, WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said:

“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. 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.

“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. Even on calmer days, wind still supplied the equivalent of over a third of electricity needs of every home.

“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%. 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.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said:

“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.

“Scotland is clearly leading the way when it comes to wind power. However, despite misconceptions, Scotland also has potential for sun-loving renewables too. The data clearly show that there’s plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family’s electricity needs for most months of the year – even during some of the winter months! With hundreds of thousands of roofs, it would make sense to tap more of the sun’s power.”

ends

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] The data is provided by WeatherEnergy, part of the European EnergizAIR project, supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, led by the European Agency for Competiveness and Innovation (EACI). The project currently has partners in ten European countries. Severn Wye Energy Agency is the UK partner.

http://www.weatherenergy.co.uk

In generating the monthly report, the following assumptions are made:

• Average annual UK household electricity consumption - 3,790 kWh.
• Number of households in Scotland - 2.42 million.
• Total electricity consumption in Scotland is 25,873GWh, of which 41% is domestic and 59% is non-domestic.
• Average solar PV installation - 3kW
• Average hot water (thermal) installation - 4.62m2
• Average household daily hot water consumption - 122 litres

For wind power, live wind energy output data is aggregated from nearly 8 GW of currently running wind farms in the UK, together with data from UKWED which shows the capacity of wind energy installed in each UK region. Government data is used to provide the capacity factor of wind energy in each region. All of this data is combined by WeatherEnergy’s EnergizAIR computer model to produce a realistic estimate of how much energy has been generated by the wind turbines in each region, it then converts this into how many homes could have been provided by energy from wind power.

Further technical information can be found here:

http://www.weatherenergy.co.uk/sites/default/files/About%20WeatherEnergy_technical%20%282%29.pdf


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