Sustainable Energy

Storms help huge surge for Scottish wind power in February

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

Wind turbines in Scotland sent more than 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid in February, a 43 percent increase compared to the same month last year, according to new analysis from WWF Scotland.

This, the group said on Monday, was enough to supply, on average, the "electrical needs" of some 162 percent of Scottish households and "the equivalent of 67 percent of Scotland's entire electricity needs" for February.

"Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines was up more than two-fifths compared to the same period last year," Lang Banks, WWF Scotland's director, said in a statement on Monday.

"This was enough power to provide the equivalent of the electrical needs of almost four million homes," Banks added. "As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and helps Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month."

February saw the U.K. battered by Storm Doris, with strong winds and gusts striking large parts of the country. In north Wales, for example, a maximum gust speed of 94 miles per hour was recorded, according to the Met Office.

Scotland is home to 25 percent of Europe's offshore wind resources, according to the Scottish government. Authorities there want renewable sources of energy to produce all its gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.

"Compared to last year, some very powerful winds across the month helped increase the total electricity supplied to the National Grid from Scotland's wind turbines," WeatherEnergy's Karen Robinson said.

"As we began to witness for the first time last year, this February has also seen a few days where the power output from wind farms exceeded the total electricity demand for an entire day," Robinson added. "This is quite an achievement."