Wind turbines in Scotland generated almost twice the entire country’s domestic power needs in the first six months of the year.
More than enough energy was created by the country’s renewables to power homes from up in Harris in the Outer Hebrides down to Harrogate in Yorkshire, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland stated. The results, from Weather Energy, portray between January and June wind turbines provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4.47million homes for those six months. That is almost twice the number of homes in Scotland. Alex Wilcox Brooke, weather energy project manager at Severn Wye Energy Agency stated These results truly highlight the consistency of wind energy in Scotland and why it now plays a major part in the UK energy market.” The figures released came as a hit in the guts of the UK enjoying the longest ever period without coal power. Previous year Scottish Power became the first major UK energy firm to completely drop fossil fuels in favor of wind power, after selling off its remaining gas and hydro stations to Drax for £702m. The company said it planned to invest £5.2bn over four years to more than double its renewable capacity. But there remain concerns the sector is not producing enough domestic employment as it could, with opportunities to build a supply chain in the UK being missed. In April, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon stated more needed to be done to create employment in the renewable energy sector after a Scottish Trades Union Congress report found a drop in the number of jobs in the onshore wind sector, with the total down by 400 between 2014 and 2017.
Last year it emerged two-thirds of British people think the UK government should ditch the policies that have all but killed off the UK’s onshore wind industry. Since the rules governing the construction of onshore turbines were introduced following the election in 2015, planning applications for new wind farms plummeted by 94 percent.