Environmentalists have today commented that Scotland’s use of renewable electricity to cut carbon emissions should ‘inspire’ other countries and motivate Scottish politicians to replicate this progress in other sectors, such as heat and transport.
The call by WWF Scotland came as the group published analysis of wind power data provided by WeatherEnergy which found for the month of October that:
• Wind turbines in Scotland provided 792,717MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 87% of Scottish households (2.1 million homes) – this represents an increase of 27% compared to that of October 2015, when wind energy provided 625,341MWh.
• Scotland’s total electricity consumption (i.e. including homes, business and industry) for October was 2,080,065MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 38% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.
The figures come as delegates from almost 200 countries gather in Marrakech, Morocco for the start of UN climate talks, aiming to progress actions agreed at last year’s Paris climate talks.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said:
“Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, 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.
“As delegates gather in Morocco to discuss continued international action on climate change, I hope Scotland’s success in cutting carbon emissions using renewable electricity inspires other countries to follow our lead. It’s therefore great to know that Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham will be present at the UN talks to share Scotland’s renewable success story.
“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.”
Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said:
“According to the Met Office, Scotland had the sunniest and one of the driest Octobers since records began. However, the month also witnessed some powerful winds leading to a significant increase in wind power output when compared to last year. All this additional renewable electricity is good news in the battle to address global climate change.”