Scotland

Solar energy 'could power all Scottish electricity supplies'

Campaigners have called for more homes and businesses to use solar energy after figures showed there was enough sunshine last month to power all electricity supplies.

About 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland have solar panels.

Data from WeatherEnergy showed that sunshine in Edinburgh in April generated more electricity than is used in an average home - a total of 113%.

In Aberdeen the figure was 111%, 106% in Glasgow and 104% in Inverness.

For homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine in the cities to cover average usage.

WWF Scotland has now called on more home and business owners to make use of the technology.

'Polluting fossil fuels'

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

"With these sorts of figures, every home or business with a south-facing roof should seriously consider switching on to the full potential of solar power. Similarly, there is no reason why Scotland should not be home to commercial-scale solar farms.

"During the month, Scotland's wind turbines generated enough output to supply the electricity needs of over 1.5 million homes. So, as we approach the period of the year where winds are less powerful, it's great to see the potential of solar to also contribute our energy needs."

WeatherEnergy's Karen Robinson said: "Scotland has long been leading the charge when it comes to wind power. However, despite misconceptions, Scotland also has potential for sun-loving renewables too.

"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 for most months of the year.

"With hundreds of thousands of roofs, it would make sense for more Scots to tap the sun's power."

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