Wind power output rises by more than a quarter against last year
WWF said the data should act as an incentive for politicians to make similar progress in heat and transport
Scottish wind turbines provided enough electricity to supply the electrical needs of 87 per cent of the country’s households last month, according to new data from WWF Scotland.
WWF said the data, which showed wind generated the equivalent of 38 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs during October, should act as an incentive for politicians to make similar progress in heat and transport.
Both the SNP and Scottish Greens welcomed the news, which came as delegates from almost 200 countries gather in Morocco for the start of UN climate talks aimed at bringing forward actions agreed at last year’s Paris climate talks.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the increase was down to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds.
He said: “Output from turbines surged by more than a quarter compared to the same period last year – supplying power equivalent to the electrical needs of over two million homes. As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power is helping Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month.
Banks added: “However, if Scotland wishes to continue to set an example to the world on addressing climate change then we cannot just rest on our laurels. If we are to meet future climate targets Scottish Ministers must build on the progress made in the electricity sector by setting a target to secure half of all our energy needs, including heat and transport, from renewable sources by 2030.”
SNP MSP Gillian Martin said the new figures show that the Scottish Government is correct in supporting new renewable technologies.
She said: “Our renewables sector is vital to jobs across the country, as well as helping us to meet our commitments on climate change – with WWF Scotland suggesting that the Scottish Government’s success in cutting emissions through use of renewables should be an ‘inspiration’ for other countries.
“The news simply shows how misguided and wrong the Scottish Tories are in their approach to energy and climate change. Just last week, we saw the confusion at the heart of Conservative energy policy, as their energy spokesperson Alexander Burnett suggested subsidies should only support ‘emerging technologies’ whilst tying himself in knots trying to defend the UK government’s subsidising of the white elephant Hinkley Point project.”
The data was provided by WeatherEnergy as part of a joint project to help the public better understand the nation’s renewable energy resource.
Scottish Greens energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “We already know that on one windy day this summer, wind turbines covered all of our electricity needs and this report provides more evidence showing that now is the time to be investing in clean, renewable energy sources, not digging for more fossil fuels. Renewable heat remains one of our biggest unrealised opportunities in terms of creating jobs, tackling fuel poverty and cutting emissions and Scottish Government ministers should be mindful of this when making their final decision on banning fracking.
"Wind is the lowest cost renewable energy but Westminster's ideological attacks have cost jobs in Scotland. The wind sector urgently needs an industrial strategy from the Scottish Government to continue to reduce costs and encourage investment in new projects in the right places."
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The two turbines produced enough energy in August to power around 2,000 homes