Wind power provided almost half of Scotland’s entire energy needs last month, new research has shown.
There were 22 days in January when the amount of electricity generated from the wind was sufficient to power every home in the country.
WWF Scotland analysed data on renewable power provided by Weather Energy, and found wind turbines supplied a total of 1,125,544 Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity to the national grid.
While this is 14% lower than in January 2015, it still amounts to 48% of Scotland’s total electricity consumption – which includes power used by homes, businesses and industry for the month.
Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “2016 has begun very much like 2015 ended, with wind power helping to supply large amounts of electricity to Scotland’s homes and businesses.
“All this renewable output is helping to avoid carbon emissions, something more important than ever as we begin to see the damaging impacts of climate change.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “2015 proved to be a big year for renewables, and the latest data makes clear that 2016 is already off to a flying start, with wind power alone meeting nearly half of Scotland’s total electricity needs during January.”
He added he had “little doubt that 2016 will be another record year for renewables” but stressed: “What happens in the longer term will be down to our political leaders.
“That is why, as we approach the Holyrood elections, we’d like to see each of the political parties commit to ensuring Scotland becomes the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030. This is an ambition with real vision that would mean Scotland captures the full benefits of its renewable potential.”