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High Winds Provide 100 Percent of Scotland's Energy Needs for A Day

Aug 14, 2016 05:53 AM EDT
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High winds combined with low demand on a sunny summer Sunday helped provide more than 100 percent of Scotland's energy needs for a day, a 'significant milestone' in curbing fossil fuels.

For the first time on record, turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid while the country's total power consumption for homes, business, and industry was only 37,202 MWh.

Wind power uses air flow through turbines to mechanically power generators for electricity. Windmills were in use by at least the 9th century for a number of uses but it wasn't until 1887 when the first windmill used for the production of electricity was built in Scotland, more than 100 years before the historically windy day.

An analysis by conservation group WWF Scotland found unseasonably windy weather saw turbines create about 106 percent of the total amount of electricity used by every home and business in the country. A yellow "be aware" weather warning was issued, covering much of the country as wind speeds reached 115mph on the top of the Cairngorms and gusts of more than 60mph hit northern towns.

The high winds were responsible for train services being canceled as trees were blown onto the tracks causing widespread disruptions for many people. Additionally, various events were postponed and parts of Dundee were hit by a power cut.

 WWF Scotland's director Lang Banks said: "This major moment was made possible thanks, in part, to many years of political support, which means that across the year now, renewables contribute well over half of our electricity needs."

"However, if we want this ensure we reap the many benefits of becoming a low-carbon economy we need to see this political support for renewables continue," Banks continued, highlighting the importance of politicians to maintain efforts for a clean green future.

 A spokeswoman for the Scottish government stated: "Scotland's abundant energy resources play a vital role in delivering security of electricity supply across the UK. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting onshore wind, which is one of our most cost-effective low-carbon energy technologies."

Scotland might not wish for high winds every day to provide 100 percent of their energy needs, nevertheless, their commitment to clean energy is both inspiring and reassuring. 

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