Scotland

'Extraordinary' month for Scottish renewable energy

Scottish wind turbines Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Wind turbines generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on 11 of 31 days in May

Scotland had "another extraordinary month" for renewable energy in May, according to environmental groups.

Wind turbines alone provided enough electricity to supply 95% of Scottish homes.

WWF Scotland analysed renewables data provided by WeatherEnergy.

It also found that in several parts of Scotland, homes fitted with solar PV panels had enough sunshine to generate more than 100% of the electricity needs of an average household.

Wind turbines provided 863,495 MWh of electricity to the National Grid during May, an increase of almost 20% compared to May 2016 when wind energy provided 692,896 MWh.

Overall the data showed that wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on 11 of the 31 days in May.

'Energy revolution'

Scotland's total electricity consumption, including homes, business and industry, last month was 1,857,566 MWh. Wind power generated the equivalent of 46% of Scotland's entire electricity needs for the month.

Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, 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% of the electricity needs of Scotland's households.

"On one day in particular, 15 May, output from turbines generated enough 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."

'Super sunny'

Homes with solar PV (photovoltaic) panels generated over 100% of average household electricity needs in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Lerwick.

The sunniest place was Lerwick on the Shetland Islands, which generated 114% of an average household electricity demand. It was followed closely by Dundee with 112%.

Dr 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."

There was also enough sunshine to generate more than 90% of an average household's hot water needs with solar hot water panels in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Lerwick, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling.

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."

Across the UK, solar panels provided a record amount of power on 26 May, when the National Grid reported a 8.5 GWh peak over a half-hour from midday, almost a quarter of total demand.

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