Scottish Daily Mail

Wind power mak­ing tiny con­tri­bu­tion to UK’s to­tal

- By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Edi­tor

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

‘Fun­da­men­tal un­re­li­a­bil­ity’

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.’

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