July might have been one of the wettest and windiest on record but it was a huge success for Scotland’s renewables industry
July might have been one of the wettest, windiest and most miserable on record, but look on the bright side – it was a huge success for Scotland’s renewables industry.
Analysis by environmental charity WWF Scotland of wind and solar data provided by WeatherEnergy found that for the month of July there was enough wind generated output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on eight out of the 31 days of July.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “It may have been among one of the wettest and windiest months in decades, but July also turned out to be a belter of a month for wind power in Scotland.
“Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and much windier weather, output from turbines was up more than half compared to the same period last year – supplying power equivalent to the electrical needs of 1.75 million homes.
“Improving energy efficiency and embracing renewables is what's going to be required to take the world one step closer to addressing the challenge of global climate change."
Even though it seemed like the sun had gone on holiday for much of the month, solar energy continued to surge.
Banks said: “Despite the clouds and overcast skies, for tens of thousands of homes that have installed solar panels to generate electricity or heat water, around four-fifths of their electricity or hot water needs could have been met by the sun. This all helped Scotland to further reduce its reliance on polluting fossil fuels during July.”
Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “Come rain or shine, Scotland still manages to pump out clean power by the bucket load. While people might not be too surprised to learn wind power output was up in July, they might be to discover that solar power output was impressive too.
“When it comes to renewables in Scotland, it would appear every rain cloud has a silver lining, if not a green one.”
July: a wash-out or a wonder-month? What WWF and WeatherEnergy's figures show
· Wind turbines in Scotland alone provided 660,117.23MWh of electricity to the National Grid,enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 72% of Scottishhouseholds (1.75 million homes) – this represents an increase of 58% comparedto that of July 2014, when wind energy provided 417,300.26 MWh.
· Wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on eight out of the 31 days of July.
· Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for July was 1,856,789.5MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 36% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.
· For homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 94% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, 87%in Inverness, 85% in Edinburgh, and 79% in Glasgow.
· For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 92%of an average household’s hot water needs in Aberdeen, 87% in Inverness, 85% in Edinburgh, and 74% in Glasgow.