The list of countries breaking records in renewable energy just got bigger, with Scotland now joining the bandwagon. In the first half of 2019, the country generated enough energy from wind power to supply its homes twice over.
Data from WeatherEnergy shows that Scottish wind turbines generated just over 9.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity between January and June, or enough to power roughly 4.47 million homes — nearly twice as many homes as there currently are in the country.
“These are amazing figures, Scotland’s wind energy revolution is clearly continuing to power ahead,” says Robin Parker, the Climate & Energy Policy Manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). “Up and down the country, we are all benefiting from cleaner energy and so is the climate.”
The new figures are a record high for wind energy in the nation and it means the turbines could have provided enough electricity for every dwelling in Scotland, as well as northern England. March was the high watermark, with 2,194,981 MWh of output produced in the month.
“These figures really highlight the consistency of wind energy in Scotland and why it now plays a major part in the UK energy market,” says Alex Wilcox Brooke, Weather Energy Project Manager at Severn Wye Energy Agency.
The UK as a whole is on a roll in renewable energy. It just managed its longest stretch without relying on coal power since the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Coal power stations didn’t supply any energy to the grid for seven days in a row, according to the National Grid in the UK – a total of 167 consecutive hours.
That’s in line with the UK government’s target to do without coal completely by 2025, and it looks as though Scotland could have a big part to play in reaching that goal. The country is seen as a pioneer when it comes to wind power, with onshore and offshore farms now at a capacity of 8,423 MW as of December 2018.
The country has a goal of using renewable energy sources to provide 100% of Scotland’s gross annual electricity by 2020. If it accomplishes this goal, that would mean that beginning next year, Scots will not be using any fossil fuels to generate electricity.
Back in 2015, Scotland had already met and exceeded its interim goal of powering 50% of its electricity with renewable energy. Wind energy is a favorite in the country, but other renewable energy sources include solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, hydrokinetic, and biomass.