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“MASSIVE JUMP” IN SCOTLAND’S WIND POWER OUTPUT – NEW DATA PUBLISHED

+ Wind power output jumps by over two-fifths compared to the same period last year

+ Wind generates more than Scotland’s total electricity needs on four separate days

+ Politicians urged to maximise the benefits to Scotland from a renewable future

Politicians should build upon the amazing progress that has been made in using renewables to generate electricity and maximise the benefits to Scotland of the transition to a renewable future, said environmentalists today (Monday 6 March).

The call by WWF Scotland came as the group published analysis of wind power data provided by WeatherEnergy which found for the month of February that:

  • Wind turbines in Scotland provided 1,331,420MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 162% of Scottish households (3.9 million homes) – this represents an increase of 43% compared to that of February 2016, when wind energy provided 929,417MWh.
  • Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for February was 1,984,765MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 67% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.
  • On four separate days (Thursday 2nd, Monday 13th, Monday 20th, and Sunday 26th) wind turbines generated output equivalent to more that Scotland’s total power needs for each entire day – equivalent to 118%, 110%, 127% and 128% of each day’s demand, respectively.

The figures come as the Scottish Government’s seeks views on its draft Energy Strategy. [2]

WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said:

“Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines was up more than two-fifths compared to the same period last year. This was enough power to provide the equivalent of the electrical needs of almost four million homes. As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and helps Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month.

“Every one of the main political parties supports the aim of generating half of all Scotland’s energy needs from renewables by 2030 - including heat, electricity and transport. With this level of political backing, we call upon all of the parties to now bring forward policies that will help maximise the benefits to Scotland’s economy, as we transition to a renewable future.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said:

“Compared to last year, some very powerful winds across the month helped increase the total electricity supplied to the National Grid from Scotland’s wind turbines. As we began to witness for the first time last year, this February has also seen a few days where the power output from wind farms exceeded the total electricity demand for an entire day. This is quite an achievement.

“With the increasing occurrence of ‘100% wind power days’ there can be little doubt that Scotland is well placed to begin the next step of increasing the role that renewables could play in cutting carbon emissions from its transport and heating sectors.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Part of a joint project to help the public better understand the nation’s renewable energy resource, the data is provided by WeatherEnergy, and is 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

Wind data for February 2017

Production (MWh)

Equivalent number of households potentially provided

% of households

Scotland

1,331,420MWh

3.9 million homes

162% (of Scottish households)

 

For the four days where wind power output was greater than 100% of total demand:

 

Date

Power sent to the National Grid by wind turbines in Scotland (MWh)

Total power demand in Scotland (MWh)

% of Scotland’s total power needs met by wind

Thursday 2 February

78,512

66,449

118%

Monday 13 February

78,936

72,000

110%

Monday 20 February

67,213

53,108

127%

Sunday 26 February

70,611

55,334

128%

  • Maximum wind output was on 13 February, when generation was an estimated 78,936MWh, enough to supply 6.5million homes – equivalent to 268% of all Scottish households.
  • Minimum wind output was on 5 February, when generation was an estimated 13,149MWh, enough to supply 1.1million homes – equivalent to 45% of all Scottish households.

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

Average annual Scottish household electricity consumption - 4,435 kWh (this figure is greater than the UK average)

Number of households in Scotland - 2.42 million.

Total annual 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_0.pdf

[2] The Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/9139