Scotland sets new wind power record

The Beatrice windfarm off the Scottish coast
The Beatrice windfarm off the Scottish coast

Wind turbines in Scotland set a new March record for the total amount of power sent to the National Grid since records began.

Analysis by WWF Scotland of wind power data provided by WeatherEnergy found for the month of March that:

  • Wind turbines in Scotland provided 1,240,095MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 136% of Scottish households (3.3 million homes) – this represents an increase of 81% compared to that of March 2016, when wind energy provided 684,632MWh.
  • The 1,240,095MWh of electricity sent to the National Grid by wind farms in Scotland represents a new record for an entire month of March. The previous highest recorded March output figure was in 2015, when 1,006,018MW was sent to the grid. **Note: This is a new record for the month of March only. Other months of the year have recorded higher total outputs.**
  • Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for March was 2,146,872MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 58% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.
  • On two separate days (Friday 17th and Sunday 19th) wind turbines generated output equivalent to more that Scotland’s total power needs for each entire day – equivalent to 102% and 130% of each day’s demand, respectively.

  • WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “Given this March wasn’t as windy as it has been in some previous years, this year’s record output shows the importance of continuing increase capacity by building new wind farms. As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and continues to play an important role in Scotland’s efforts to address global climate change by avoiding millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

    “However, the UK Government’s decision to end support for onshore wind is going to make meeting our international climate obligations much harder in the future. The reality is that if we’re serious about cutting carbon pollution in the most cost-effective way, then we need every one of the political parties in Scotland to back the continued deployment of onshore wind power.

    “It’s only with political backing for onshore wind from all of the parties that Scotland will be able to maximise the benefits to its economy, as we transition to a renewable future.”

    Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy added: “It’s massively impressive how Scotland has steadily grown its wind power output of the years. The total output from turbines this March was up more than four-fifths compared to the same period last year. This was enough power to provide the equivalent of the electrical needs of over three million homes. More importantly, it meant the equivalent of almost three-fifths of Scotland total electricity needs during March were met by onshore wind power.”

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