As wind speeds hit 115 mph on the top of the Cairngorms on the first Sunday of August, Scotland’s windfarms produced more electricity than the country needed for the first time on record. The performance of Scotland’s onshore and offshore turbines, producing 106 per cent of the country’s total electricity needs, cemented its reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse and helped power the rest of the UK. While Scotland generated more energy than it needed most wasn’t used in the country. Many of its windfarms are plugged directly into a “transmission network” where the energy they produce is mixed with gas, coal, nuclear and other renewable power and carried all across England and Wales in high voltage power cables to local distribution networks which feed it into households and businesses. For its size Scotland is way ahead of the rest of Britain on renewable energy, which last year produced 57.4 per cent of the electricity it needs – about three-quarters of that coming from wind. But Britain as a whole is also powering ahead in the wind sector. Wind power, which produced just 1 per cent of the UK’s electricity only a decade ago, supplied a record 11 per cent of its power last year – and contributed 17 per cent in windy December.
The i Newspaper 14th Aug 2016 read more »