Skip to main content

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

· For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 100% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness.
· For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 100% of an average household's hot water needs in Aberdeen and Dundee, 98% in Inverness, 97% in Edinburgh, and 94% in Glasgow.
· Wind turbines in Scotland provided 692,896MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 76% of Scottish households (1.8 million homes).
· Wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on ten out of the 31 days of May.
· Scotland's total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for May was 1,938,785MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 36% of Scotland's entire electricity needs for the month.
WWF Scotland's director Lang Banks said:

For the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have already installed solar panels, there was enough sun to potentially meet all of their electricity or hot water needs, helping to reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

"During the month, wind turbines in Scotland produced output equivalent to the average electricity needs of over 1.8 million homes.

"These figures underline the fantastic progress Scotland has made on harnessing renewables, especially to generate electricity. However, with less than 13 per cent of our total energy needs coming from renewable sources, it's now time to widen our attention on de-carbonising our economy beyond just our power sector.

"That's why the forthcoming review of Scotland's energy strategy must set a target of meeting at least half of all our energy needs from renewables by 2030. In the same way Ministers helped drive forward progress in renewable electricity through targets, setting higher ambition for covering all of our energy needs would help give clarity about the transition and the greater certainty to investors."

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said:

"The data clearly shows that there's plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family's electricity and hot water needs during some months of the year and that it isn't just during the summer months that this contribution is felt.

"It's clear that when it comes to generating clean power Scotland is one country others are already watching closely. Imagine what a global leadership role Scotland could play if it now followed up its success on renewable electricity with steps to green its entire energy system."

In Scotland, over 40,000 homes and 850 business premises currently have solar PV arrays fitted.

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.

Wind data for May 2016

Production (MWh)
Equivalent number of households potentially provided % of households
Scotland 692,896MWh 1.8 million homes 76% (of Scottish households)

· Maximum wind output was on 2 May, when generation was an estimated 48,389MWh, enough to supply 3.98 million homes - equivalent to 165% of all Scottish households.
· Minimum wind output was on 22 May, when generation was an estimated 6,085MWh, enough to supply 500,823 homes - equivalent to 21% of all Scottish households.
Solar PV data for May

Production in kWh % of an average household electricity demand provided
Aberdeen 428.8 114%
Dundee 414.7 110%
Edinburgh 417.6 111%
Glasgow 422.1 112%
Inverness 410.8 109%

Solar thermal data for May

% of an average household hot water provided by solar thermal
Aberdeen 100%
Dundee 100%
Edinburgh 97%
Glasgow 94%
Inverness 98%

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:


Was this page useful?


How can we improve this page? (optional)