Scotland produces enough wind energy to power all its homes

Scotland's Whitelee wind farm (Photo: Bjmullan)

Scotland is pushing ahead with green energy, with First Minister Alex Salmond claiming that renewables could provide 100 percent of Scotland's energy by 2025. And last month, Salmond's push for wind farms appears to have borne fruit – wind power alone generated some 126 percent of the energy needed to power every home in Scotland in what the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is calling a "bumper month." Even solar fared well despite the chilly conditions, with domestic solar PV panels chipping in around a third of the domestic energy bill.

According to WWF figures, wind turbines produced an estimated 982,842 MWh of electricity during October 2014. That's enough to meet 3,045,000 UK homes, or 126 percent of Scotland's entire residential demand.

Of course, it's not quite that simple. Wind power is inconsistent, even on the windy Highland plains, and can't be produced on demand like gas-fired electricity, so it relies on other forms of electricity generation to fill the gaps, and can also over-generate and need to be shut down to preserve the grid when it's extra windy.

Solar chipped in too, with roof-mounted solar contributing between 30-40 percent of power needs to homes that have it installed, even through a cold October.

Scotland is already well and truly the renewable energy champion of the United Kingdom, with nearly 40 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources. Salmond's plan is to ramp up renewable energy to provide 100 percent of Scotland's entire energy requirements by 2025, and generate as much again from non-renewable sources for export, primarily to England.

Sources: WWF, Scottish Government (PDF)

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