A jump in wind power led to turbines producing enough electricity to meet the needs of more than three-quarters of Scottish households in April, figures reveal.
Wind farms provided 699,684MWh (megawatt-hours) of electricity to the National Grid last month, enough to power 79 per cent of average Scottish households, equivalent to 1.9 million homes.
The energy output has increased by 15 per cent compared with the same time last year when wind energy provided 608,601MWh of electricity to the grid.
Figures released by WeatherEnergy show that high winds meant on eight days in April wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100 per cent or more of Scottish homes.
Despite the recent wintry weather the data shows that in homes fitted with solar panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 95 per cent of the electricity needs of an average household in Dundee, 87 per cent in Edinburgh, 86 per cent in Aberdeen, 84 per cent in Glasgow, and 83 per cent in Inverness.
For those homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine to generate 82 per cent of an average household’s hot water needs in Inverness, 80 per cent in Dundee, 78 per cent in Aberdeen, 76 per cent in Glasgow, and 74 per cent in Edinburgh.
Karen Robinson, of WeatherEnergy, said: “After a relatively slow start to the year, Scotland’s wind power output is back on the up thanks to some powerful winds during the month.
“Similarly, as we move toward summer, solar power is beginning to play an increasing role for those homes and businesses that have fitted solar panels. It won’t be long now before the average home with panels will be able to meet all its electricity or hot water needs for the month from the sun.”
Environmental charity WWF Scotland is urging politicians to take the country’s use of renewables to the “next level”.
The charity’s director Lang Banks said: “If we’re to move to the next level in the global shift to a zero-carbon society, then the next Scottish Government must bring forward an energy strategy that ensures Scotland is the first EU nation to have a completely renewable electricity generation system by 2030.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We have powered through our target to have 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity consumption come from renewables by 2015 – and, if re-elected, we will implement an ambitious long-term energy strategy.”