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08 June 2017

+ Wind power output jumps by almost 20% on same period last year- powering equivalent to 95% of all Scottish households’ electricity needs

+ Solar power generation could have provided enough electricity for all Scottish households

+ Groups say energy revolution happening ‘whether President Trump backs it or not’

May proved to be another extraordinary month for renewables across Scotland proving the energy revolution is happening, whether President Trump backs it or not, said environmental groups today (Mon 5 June).

Analysis by WWF Scotland of wind and solar data provided by WeatherEnergy found that for the month of May:

  • Wind turbines in Scotland alone provided 863,494.63 MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 95% of Scottish households –an almost 20% increase compared to May 2016, when wind energy provided 692,896.1 MWh.
  • Wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on eleven out of the 31 days of May.
  • Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for May was 1,857,566 MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 46% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.
  • For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate over 100% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Lerwick.
  • For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate over 90% of an average household’s hot water needs in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Lerwick, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling.

WWF Scotland’s acting director Dr Sam Gardner said:

“Despite the disappointment of last week’s announcement that President Trump is to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, the global energy revolution is unstoppable and continues at pace here in Scotland.

“May proved to be another great month for renewables with the wind sector meeting 95 per cent of the electricity needs of Scotland’s households. On one day in particular, May15th, output from turbines generated enough to electricity to power 190% of homes or 99% of Scotland’s total electricity demand. Month after month renewables play a vital role in cutting carbon emissions and powering the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy makes a welcome commitment to build on this progress and tackle our reliance on fossil fuels for heating and transport. We hope the final Strategy sets out the clear steps the government must take to secure this vision and deliver the benefits of the renewable energy revolution.”

On solar power, Gardner added:

“Thanks to a super sunny month, solar was on sizzling form and could have met more than 100% of household electricity demand in towns and cities across Scotland.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said:

“Scotland again managed to pump out clean power by the bucket load during May. While people might not be too surprised to learn solar power output was up in May, they might be surprised to discover that wind power output was also pretty impressive. When it comes to renewables in Scotland, it would appear the sun does indeed have his hat on.”


[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 2017

  Production (MWh)

Equivalent number of
households potentially provided

% of households
Scotland 863,494.63 MWh 2,292,563 95% (of Scottish households)

National Grid total electricity demand for the month – 1,857,566 MWh - wind power generated equivalent of 46% of this demand.

Maximum day – 15th May 2017 wind generation was 56,007 MWh, equivalent to 190% households. Total electricity demand that day was 56,390 MWh – wind generation was equivalent to 99% of that.

Minimum day – 18th May when generation was 7,863 MWh, equivalent to 27% of households

Solar PV data for May 2017

  Production in kWh % of an average household
electricity demand provided
Aberdeen 383.1 102%
Dumfries 398.6 106%
Dundee 420.5 112%
Edinburgh 393.5 104%
Glasgow 398.4 106%
Inverness 392.4 104%
Lerwick 430.5 114%
Perth 401 106%
Stirling 394.7 105%

Solar thermal data for May 2017

  % of an average household hot water
provided by solar thermal
Aberdeen 92%
Dumfries 98%
Dundee 98%
Edinburgh 98%
Glasgow 97%
Inverness 99%
Lerwick 98%
Perth 99%
Stirling 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:



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