Wind farms ‘could power every home in Scotland’

Electricity produced by wind turbines north of the Border could power every home in Scotland and reach the North of England, according to new figures.

The wind power output hit a record high during the first six months of 2019, which could also power double the number of homes in Scotland.

Figures from Weather Energy indicate that the turbines provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4.47 million homes for the January to June period.

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Scottish wind farm paid £96m to switch off
he wind power output hit a record high during the first six months of 2019. (Picture: Ian Rutherford)

Robin Parker, WWF Scotland climate and energy policy manager, said: “These are amazing figures; Scotland’s wind energy revolution is clearly continuing to power ahead.

“Up and down the country, we are all benefiting from cleaner energy and so is the climate.

“These figures show harnessing Scotland’s plentiful onshore wind potential can provide clean, green electricity for millions of homes across not only Scotland, but England as well.

“It’s about time the UK Government stepped up and gave Scottish onshore wind a route to market.”

The output would power homes from the Isle of Harris to Harrogate in North Yorkshire, according to WWF.

Alex Wilcox Brooke, weather energy project manager at Severn Wye Energy Agency, said: “These figures really highlight the consistency of wind energy in Scotland and why it now plays a major part in the UK energy market.”

In April First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said more needs to be done to create employment in renewable energy after a Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) report found a fall in jobs in the onshore wind sector, with the total down by 400 between 2014 and 2017

The STUC report found the number directly employed in the onshore wind sector in Scotland slumped from 2,700 in 2014 to 2,300 in 2017, despite an increase in wind farms.

Addressing the STUC in Dundee, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘The move to a low-carbon economy is happening. It’s already under way and already creating jobs in Scotland.

‘But we also know that we need to address two distinct but very closely related issues. We need to ensure low-carbon technologies create as many jobs as possible here in Scotland... so far, we have not done as well as we want to, not done as well as we should in building a domestic supply chain for new renewable industries.”