WWF Scotland has released figures it said showed 2015 was a “huge year” for renewable energy. The environment charity said wind power produced the equivalent of 97% of Scotland’s household electricity needs. The contribution of wind power was calculated to be up by 16% on the previous year. WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the use of renewables in Scotland had curbed millions of tonnes of carbon emissions. The statistics compiled by WWF Scotland from data provided by information service WeatherEnergy indicated that in December, wind power generated in Scotland exceeded household electricity demand by 48%.
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Scottish wind and solar power experienced a bumper year in 2015 with record breaking wind output generating enough electricity for almost all of the country’s homes. WWF Scotland also claimed that in the tens of thousands of households with solar panels, half or more of their electricity or hot water was met from the sun for most of the year. The charity, who have analysed data from monitor WeatherEnergy, said the figures show last year was “huge” for green energy. WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Without doubt, 2015 was a huge year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon emissions were avoided.
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The world’s biggest producer of wind turbines has accused Britain of obstructing use of new technology that can slash costs, preventing the wind industry from offering one of the cheapest forms of energy without subsidies. Anders Runevad, chief executive of Vestas Wind Systems, said his company’s wind turbines can compete onshore against any other source of energy in the UK without need for state support, but only if the Government sweeps away impediments to a free market. While he stopped short of rebuking the Conservatives for kowtowing to ‘Nimbyism’, the wind industry is angry that ministers are changing the rules in an erratic fashio n and imposing guidelines that effectively freeze development of onshore wind. “We can compete in a market-based system in onshore wind and we are happy to take on the challenge, so long as we are able to use our latest technology,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “The UK has a tip-height restriction of 125 meters and this is cumbersome. Our new generation is well above that,” he said. Vestas is the UK’s market leader in onshore wind.
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