Sustainable Energy

Wind can power ‘79% of Scottish homes’

Anmar Frangoul | Special to
Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

The month of April saw wind turbines in Scotland provide 699,684 megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid, according to new data.

On Tuesday, WWF Scotland published analysis of data provided by WeatherEnergy, which found that in April Scottish wind turbines provided, on average, enough electricity to supply "the electrical needs of 79 percent of Scottish households."

For eight out of 30 days in April, wind turbines produced enough electricity to supply 100 percent "or more" of Scottish homes.

"Thanks to a combination of stronger winds and increased capacity, output from turbines in April was up more by 15 percent compared to the same period last year – supplying power equivalent to the average electrical needs of 1.9 million homes," Lang Banks, WWF Scotland's director, said in a statement.

There was also good news for solar power in Scotland. "Homes fitted with solar panels were able to obtain 70 percent or more of their electricity or hot water needs from the sun," Banks added.

According to the Scottish Government, onshore wind power is now the most common form of renewable energy there, while Scotland is also home to a quarter of Europe's "offshore wind resources."

"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," WeatherEnergy's Karen Robinson said.

Solar boost for US

Elsewhere in the renewables world, on Monday the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in available funding to aid utilities, software developers and solar companies "accelerate the integration of solar energy into the grid."

In a news release, the DOE said that during President Obama's time in office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. had increased from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008 to "an estimated 27.4 gigawatts in 2015."

Tearing down the house to make it greener

"Our ongoing grid modernization work will help accelerate the widespread adoption of the clean energy resources that will define our low-carbon future," Lynn Orr, Energy Department under-secretary for Science and Energy, said.

"This funding will help that mission by supporting industry partners working to integrate, store, and deploy solar energy throughout our electric grid," Orr added.

"In doing so, we hope to drive down costs and encourage even more American homeowners and businesses to install solar systems."