Scotland Generated Enough Renewable Energy to Power Itself

This past weekend Scotland generated enough electricity from wind turbines to meet all its power demands. A day of strong winds and low demand combined to make this the first time Scotland has achieved this renewable milestone. For a compression, in 2012 Germany got 50% of it’s electricity from renewable sources, and today Germany gets almost all of its power from renewable sources on a regular basis. In a couple years Scotland could be 100% powered by renewables. The cost of solar and wind installations continues to fall so it’s likely more regions of the world will be able to follow Scotland’s lead.

“It should also be remembered that wind power is not the only renewable power source Scotland has at its disposal.

“If we continue to take steps to reduce our energy demand, invest in storage, and increase our use of renewables we can hopefully look forward to many days that are fully powered by nature.”

The figures showed that wind turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 megawatts per hour (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid for 24 hours on Sunday. Scotland’s total electricity consumption for that day was 37,202MWh. It is unclear whether demand at any single point in the day exceeded the amount supplied by the turbines.

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3 thoughts on “Scotland Generated Enough Renewable Energy to Power Itself

  1. It seem Scotland also has lots of hydro and nuclear plants. Hydro is considered renewable. The think about their nuclear and coal is you can’t really turn them off when you don’t need them, because they take days to restart, so they where probably running that day, too.

    I expect Scotland exports a lot of power to the rest of Great Britain.

  2. See, what you’ve claimed is simply not possible. The installed nameplate capacity of windpower is 5328 MW in Scotland as of a year ago. That’s about 1800 of those giant wind turbines that max out at a measly 3 MW power output each in a good blow, and blight the landscape, much as here in NS.

    I was a metering engineer at a provincial electrical utility, and it amazes me to this day how people get flummoxed by easy calculations. The best power those wind turbines could put out is by definition 5328 MW, which if steady over an hour is 5328 MWh. When you multiply power, MW, by duration, hours, you get energy or MWh. So, it’s possible for 5328 MW times 24 hours to give over 120,000 MWh of energy in a day. Thus I can believe the 40,000 MWh energy production in a day from windpower in Scotland from 5,328 MW capacity. The load factor is 120/40 or about 33%, which for windpower alone isn’t too bad.

    But 39,545 MW per hour (whatever physical quantity that is, because it is not a known measurement – power divided by time does not compute into a physical reality) from 5328 MW capability is impossible.

    Electrical demand is also misunderstood, but I think you’ve grasped the basics. If the electrical loads, or demand, present exceed the power available, things start grinding to a halt. This is what I cannot understand about the present situation in BC; the activist people there don’t seem to understand that demand fluctuates all over the place, and that if the system is not to shut down, then the available peak power must exceed the peak loads imposed on the system. Energy production has nothing to do necessarily with this aspect of keeping the power on yet all they understand is energy production.

    To clarify a statement above: if you have a vehicle that has a 200 horsepower engine, what does 200 hp per hour mean? Nothing. But 200 hp times one hour is 200 hp-hrs and that is an energy production. Both hp and watts or megawatts are a term for power, not energy.

    You say: “The figures showed that wind turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 megawatts per hour (MWh) of electricity”. You do realize the difference between multiplication and division, I presume? MW per hour is MW/hour – a nothingness. MW times hours is MWh, an amount of energy. And again, you cannot get 8 times the power 40,000 MW from a 5300 MW engine. It don’t work. Look at the meter on your house; it will prominently say kWh or kW.h where the dot means the mathematical symbol for “multiply”. Not divide.

    If your source got this screwed up and you copied it, I cannot help them. With you there’s some chance. 🙂

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