Scottish Daily Mail
Wind power making tiny contribution to UK’s total
SCOTLAND’s wind farms are producing only a fraction of the UK’s energy, according to damning new figures.
Their small contribution raises serious questions over Alex Salmond’s claim that Scotland could be ‘the Saudi Arabia of renewables’.
At the start of this month, lack of wind meant that, at times, the UK’s turbines generated around 1 per cent of all electricity.
But figures obtained by the Mail show Scottish turbines’ contribution can fall to only 0.17 per cent.
Last night, Scottish Tory energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said: ‘Sources the SNP turns its noses up at, such as nuclear, are far more consistent. It’s clear that Scotland could not depend on turbines to keep the lights on.’
Figures from the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), the UK charity publishing data on the sector, show that on November 4, wind farms in the UK produced
1.3 per cent of the country’s energy, with nuclear responsible for 20.2 per cent, gas for 41 per cent and coal for 24.5 per cent.
With Scotland estimated by the REF to produce around a third of the UK’s wind energy overall, on that day Scottish wind turbines produced only 0.4 per cent of the UK’s total energy output.
On some days energy from the UK’s turbines contributes up to 20 per cent of the total, showing the way their output fluctuates.
Dr John Constable, REF director, said the ‘fundamental unreliability’ of weather ‘compromises the contribution of most renewables to security of supply’.
The number of Scottish turbines doubled over the past year to nearly 5,000.
A spokesman for industry body Scottish Renewables said: ‘There is little value in cherry-picking statistics on wind output on certain days of the year. Figures for the first six months of 2014 show renewables have overtaken coal, gas and nuclear to be Scotland’s biggest source of power.’