Scotland set two new wind power records over Christmas, according to figures released today by a conservation body.
WWF Scotland say its analysis of data from WeatherEnergy showed wind turbines generated power equivalent to all of Scotland’s electricity needs for a record four straight days, from December 23-26.
Although turbines have previously generated more power than needed in a single day in Scotland, it is the first time that such a feat has been recorded on consecutive days, the organisation said.
Christmas Eve also saw a new record set for the most amount of wind-generated power in a single day in Scotland, with 74,042MWh of electricity sent to the National Grid. With total electricity demand on the day of 56,089MWh, WWF Scotland said the figure showed turbines generated the equivalent of 132% of Scotland’s total electricity needs.
According to the figures, output from turbines on Christmas Day was slightly less that generated on December 24, at 70,002Mh, but total electricity demand was also much lower at 45,756MWh.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “These are two spectacular achievements, which underline the massive progress Scotland is making in securing an ever increasing proportion of its electricity needs from wind power and other clean renewable sources.
“Scotland can be proud that its record-breaking wind power output at the end of December and resulting export of excess electricity through interconnectors to England, greatly contributed to what also proved a record-breaking week for wind power across the entire UK.
“By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, we’re also helping to address the threats posed to people and nature by climate change. That is why we must continue to take steps to reduce our overall energy demand and harness more of what we do use from the wide range of renewable energy sources now available.”
He added: “Later this month, the Scottish Government is expected to publish its new energy strategy. We hope these latest wind power records embolden Ministers to aim high when it comes to the role renewables play in their forthcoming strategy especially in areas beyond the power sector, such as heat and transport.”
Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said the number of days when the output from turbines outstripped demand had been increasing the past four months.
She added: “It was only as recently as August 2016 that we first recorded a day where wind powered electricity generation exceeding demand. However, thanks to increasing levels of renewables capacity and improved energy efficiency reducing power demand, we’re starting to see more and more such days.
“Given these figures, now is the time for serious consideration to be given to using more of this excess renewable electricity to help de-carbonise other areas of society, such as powering electric vehicles or heating our homes and businesses using non-fossil fuel technologies.”