Enough sunshine in May ‘for 100% solar power’

There was enough sunshine in May in Scotland to generate 100% of electricity required by an average household fitted with solar PV panels in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

That’s according to WWF Scotland, citing data provided by WeatherEnergy.

WWF said that for homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine in May to generate 100% of an average household’s hot water needs in Aberdeen and Dundee, 98% in Inverness, 97% in Edinburgh, and 94% in Glasgow.

Further, WWF said wind turbines in Scotland provided 692,896MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply on average the electrical needs of 76% of Scottish households.

Wind turbines generated enough electricity to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on ten out of the 31 days of May.

WWF said Scotland’s total electricity consumption — including homes, business and industry — for May was 1,938,785MWh.

Wind power generated the equivalent of 36% of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.

WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “For the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have already installed solar panels, there was enough sun to potentially meet all of their electricity or hot water needs, helping to reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

“During the month, wind turbines in Scotland produced output equivalent to the average electricity needs of over 1.8 million homes.

“These figures underline the fantastic progress Scotland has made on harnessing renewables, especially to generate electricity.

“However, with less than 13 per cent of our total energy needs coming from renewable sources, it’s now time to widen our attention on de-carbonising our economy beyond just our power sector.

“That’s why the forthcoming review of Scotland’s energy strategy must set a target of meeting at least half of all our energy needs from renewables by 2030.

“In the same way ministers helped drive forward progress in renewable electricity through targets, setting higher ambition for covering all of our energy needs would help give clarity about the transition and the greater certainty to investors.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “The data clearly shows that there’s plenty of sunshine to meet a significant proportion of an average family’s electricity and hot water needs during some months of the year and that it isn’t just during the summer months that this contribution is felt.

“It’s clear that when it comes to generating clean power Scotland is one country others are already watching closely.

“Imagine what a global leadership role Scotland could play if it now followed up its success on renewable electricity with steps to green its entire energy system.”

In Scotland, more than 40,000 homes and 850 businesses currently have solar PV arrays fitted.