Another Scottish Renewable Energy First

Another Scottish Renewable Energy First

Another month and another renewable energy generation record has been broken in Scotland. For the first time on record wind generated the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity needs for the day during two days in a single month. Also new data from WeatherEnergy has confirmed that wind power output in Scotland increased by more than a third in September compared to the same period last year. Over the month wind turbines generated 776,116MWh of electricity which was imported to the grid, an increase of 36% from September 2015.

The amount generated would be enough to supply the average electrical needs of 2.1 million homes, 87% of all residential buildings in Scotland. When businesses and industry are included wind power generated 44% of the country’s entire electricity demand for September. There was also enough hours of sunshine for homes fitted with solar PV panels to generate an estimated 70% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, 69% in Dundee, 61% in Edinburgh, 60% in Inverness, and 50% in Glasgow.

Lang Banks 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 that 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.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “It was only back in August that we recorded the first ever day, since we began monitoring the data, where wind turbines alone generated more electricity that was needed on the day. It’s therefore wonderful to see the same repeated in September, but this time on two separate days.

“Electricity demand on the two particular days in question was lower than the average. Nevertheless, the fact wind was able to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity needs is something worth celebrating.”

However while Scotland was celebrating another renewable energy milestone green campaigners in England were dismayed by the UK’s government’s decision to allow shale gas exploration in Lancashire.

Caroline Lucas, Green party MP said: “Today’s decision shows the yawning gap between the Government’s rhetoric and the reality of their policies – and it will send a shiver down the spine of the many people up and down the country fighting fracking. Ministers promise to support “ordinary people” but have ignored the people of Lancashire – including local and district councillors and the overwhelming majority of local people who objected to these reckless plans.”

“Fracking is a dirty, expensive and dangerous gamble with our environment, security and economy. We should be choosing an energy system powered by the renewable sources that we have in abundance and keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

However not everyone is against the shale gas exploration with business leaders welcoming the move from the government.

Acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce Adam Marshall said: “We need to explore the potential for shale gas to make a contribution to our energy mix, alongside both nuclear and renewables.

“Tapping domestic energy resources creates both energy security and jobs here at home, and seems a much better alternative to dependence on supplies from overseas.”

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “Developing a viable shale industry in Lancashire will have positive economic implications for the region in terms of investment, jobs and supply chain engagement, and has the potential to provide security of energy supply to regional manufacturers.

“This announcement means that local businesses will be in pole position for future shale gas supply chain opportunities in the county.”

Fracking and wind power lie at opposite ends of the of the energy generation spectrum. Fracking is seen to be dirty and is very carbon emission heavy however it does not have the same visual impact as wind power does. Also it cannot be denied that it is does provide cheap and plentiful energy as well as supporting the local community with long term jobs.

Although we do believe in a sustainable energy mix and do see some advantages to fracking our belief is that in order to help reduce our carbon emissions in line with the Paris agreement we should not be pursuing this method any further.

Renewable energy generation and in particular wind power has shown with reducing costs and greater grid management it can be the solution to our energy question.


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