High winds last Sunday boosted wind energy generation in Scotland to match the country’s energy usage for that day, and then some. On an average day, Scotland generates nearly 60 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, but an especially windy day made for a record-setting output of energy from wind turbines. On Aug. 7, Scotland’s wind turbines produced 106 percent of the electricity used nationwide on that day.
Sunday’s high winds prompted the Met Office (UK’s weather service) to issue warnings to residents, as wind speeds reached 115 miles per hour atop the Cairngorms and northern towns experienced gusts over 60mph. The aggressive winds closed bridges and interrupted ferry and train service, which likely frustrated locals, but the boost in wind energy generation stands out as a silver lining.
The news came not from the weather service, but from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland, which conducted an analysis of data from WeatherEnergy. The report showed that Scottish wind turbines fed 39,545 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid on that fateful day. Scotland’s total power consumption (including residential and commercial customers) was 37,202 MWh, so simple math indicates that wind power met 106 percent of the country’s electricity needs on Sunday.
WWF Scotland had earlier reported that 2015 was a “huge year” for wind and solar power for the country, and it looks likely that 2016 energy generation will give last year a run for its money. A spokesperson from WeatherEnergy pointed out, however, that electricity demands are lower on Sundays, which contributed to this milestone. “Electricity demand during weekends is usually lower than the rest of the week,” said Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy. “Nevertheless, the fact that wind power was able to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity needs shows just how far renewables have come.”
Via The Guardian