Wind power met all of Scotland’s electricity needs on Sunday, new data shows
Blustery weekend weather sent Scottish wind turbines into overdrive on Sunday, with wind energy generating the equivalent of all its electricity needs for the day.
According to data released today by WWF Scotland, wind farms in the country produced 39,545MWh of electricity to the National Grid on Sunday – more than 2,000MWh more than the amount of electricity Scotland consumed that day.
In total, wind turbines generated the equivalent of 106 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs on the day – helped in part by the lower weekend demand for electricity.
It is the first time this year that wind has delivered more than 100 per cent of Scottish electricity needs. However, WeatherEnergy – which collates the wind data for WWF – only began recording wind generation in 2015, so it is possible such an event has happened in previous years, WWF said.
But Laing Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said while the event should be celebrated, if wind is to continue to play an ever greater role in Scotland’s electricity system political support for renewables must continue.
“If we want to ensure we reap the many benefits of becoming a low carbon economy we need to see this political support for renewables continue,” he said in a statement. “We also need the Scottish government’s forthcoming energy strategy to set a goal of securing half of all of our energy, across electricity, heat and transport, from renewables by 2030.”
In related news, earlier this week power demand across the UK’s high-voltage transmission system fell to an 11-year low, as warm summer weather coupled with embedded wind energy depressed demand on the transmission network.
Wind power, which is connected to a distribution network rather than the transmission network, is helping to keep demand for energy from other sources low, Argus Media reported. On Monday morning between 6am and 6.30am, demand on the transmission system dropped to 18.7GW – the lowest in National Grid’s records, which began in April 2005.
Demand for transmission grid power has been falling steadily over recent years. Energy efficiency measures, the growth of renewables and the decline of industrial manufacturing have all contributed to the decline, which has fallen from a high of 46.5GW in February 2006 to an average of 29.1GW in August 2015.