The potential for Scottish Wind Power is even greater than we thought. Could a single wind turbine power a whole Scottish city?



Having written an already really positive comment on the 10th January, I was impressed to discover that this success was based on what is in fact quite an early stage in the development of wind power. I wrote this headline on the 10th:

Two new records for Scottish wind power ‘underline the massive progress Scotland is making in securing an ever increasing proportion of its electricity needs from wind power and other clean renewable sources.’

 The Independent newspaper had headlined with:

‘Scotland’s wind turbines provided more electricity than the country needed four days in a row’ and went on to enthuse with this:

 ‘The total amount of wind energy produced on Christmas Eve was also the highest ever, with more than 74,000MWh sent to the National Grid – equivalent to the average daily electricity needs of 6.09 million homes. And, as energy use fell on Christmas Day, wind turbines provided 153 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs.’

What I had not but maybe should have realised was that these achievements are being made in the very early stages of the development of wind power technology and that more, much more, is on the way, to make wind power an even more optimistic strategy for Scotland’s energy future. I stumbled across this staggering headline in a European Bank report:


Here’s an extract from the report:

‘The blades of the world’s biggest wind turbine are 80 meters long, the wingspan of an Airbus A380. The circle they make when they sweep around is larger than the iconic London Eye ferris wheel. And not one but 44 of these turbines are set to be installed in the Norther windfarm, 22 kilometres off the coast of Belgium. But not only are wind turbines getting bigger. Thanks to technological advances and financing from banks, such as the European Investment Bank, wind power is also increasingly affordable. The EIB’s renewable energy division’s senior engineer David González says technologies need a certain level of take-up to become competitive. “Technologies that we now consider well established such as combined cycle gas turbines were still having issues even in the 1990s,” he muses. “Electricity generation technologies take long to mature. For instance, steam turbines took nearly 80 years to become widespread. So for wind turbines to mature, you will need enough trial space and enough R&D investment for the same to happen.’

 Reading this has taking my optimism about Scotland’s energy future, based on the Independent newspaper report of our already encouraging success with current levels of technology on to a new level. It seems to me that, over the next few decades with breakthroughs in energy storage, wind power has the potential to make Scotland a massive exporter of power as well as self-sufficient and secure.


4 thoughts on “The potential for Scottish Wind Power is even greater than we thought. Could a single wind turbine power a whole Scottish city?

  1. Clydebuilt January 16, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    Excellent positive retort to my earlier posts….. There is no doubt that Scotland has excellent potential to generate renewable energy. Will Westminister allow it…… Currently as I understand things it is Wastemonster who sanctions onshore and offshore wind farms. The Scottish Gov. Has the power to halt Wind farms on environmental grounds….. In the last year Westminster stopped a Scottish offshore wind farm application……

    Yes energy storage greatly increases the usefulness of Wind turbines, Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla cars) is developing a domestic storage battery, unlikely to be rolled out here in any numbers before a 2018 referendum.

    Yes Scotland has great renewable energy potential, problem is Westminster is strangling development of our new renewables and new build Gas powered Stations….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clydebuilt January 16, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Heard Niall Stuartof Scottish renewables interviewed on radio Scot. Said that Tories are not even allowing them to bid for contracts to supply electricity from new build wind farms.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Finnmacollie January 16, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Exciting times ahead for wind (and hopefully wave) power. Pity the subsidy money seems to have been diverted to Hinkley Point c.

    I believe the Danes are doing really well, consistently producing 40%+ electricity from wind power – and a couple of winters ago produced 140% – enough to export the surplus to Norway, Sweden and Germany. Mind you, I’m guessing that their facilities maybe don’t have to pay a ridiculous levy to put power into their grid if the power generator happens to be quite far from Copenhagen.

    Slightly, but not entirely, off topic, an anecdotal tale of a valuable by-product of wind farms: Pre retirement, my wife was a Healthcare Chaplain working in mental health. She occasionally took patients on a day pass to Dun Law Windfarm on Soutra Hill and parked there. The motion of the turbine blades combined with the regular swishing noise had a remarkable, and drug free, calming effect on the patients. I doubt very much if a visit to Torness – about the same distance in the opposite direction – would have had the same effect.

    Just for balance – critics say {insert favourite SNPBad phrase here}


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