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Scotland’s super month for solar power

Environmentalists have argued more Scottish homes and businesses should embrace solar power, after figures revealed that there was enough sunshine in April to have met more than 100% of the electricity needs of an average home in Scotland.

The call by WWF Scotland follows publication of findings that also revealed that there would have been enough sunshine to power 99% or more of an average household’s hot water needs.

Wind turbines in Scotland generated enough electricity to supply the electrical needs of 69% of Scottish households, or some 1.66 million homes.

Last month, it was announced that work on Scotland’s largest solar park will start later this year in Angus.

WWF Scotland analysed solar and wind data provided by WeatherEnergy. It found that for the month of April:

  • there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 113% of the electricity needs of an average home in Edinburgh, 111% in Aberdeen, 106% in Glasgow, and 104% in Inverness for homes fitted with solar PV panels;
  • there was enough sunshine in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness to generate an estimated 100% of an average households hot water needs, and 99% for homes in Aberdeen for houses fitted with solar hot water panels;
  • Scottish wind turbines provided an estimated 608,601MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply on average the electrical needs of 69% of Scottish households (1.66 million homes), similar to April 2014 when wind energy provided 617,384MWh; and
  • Scotland’s total electricity consumption for the month was 2,080,445MWh, and wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 29% of the month’s total electricity consumption.

WeatherEnergy energy adviser Karen Robinson 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 for most months of the year.

“With hundreds of thousands of roofs, it would make sense for more Scots to tap the sun’s power.”

In Scotland, over 35,000 homes and 600 business premises currently have solar PV arrays fitted.

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