Wind energy in Scotland
Tackling climate change requires a wide range of measures. These include reducing energy demand, increasing energy efficiency, recycling, creating sustainable transport and developing the use of renewables to make clean green electricity. Governments at all levels are taking action.
At national level, the Scottish Government has recently announced a new target of generating 100% of Scottish gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2020. In 2009, more than a quarter (27.4 per cent) of electricity demand came from renewables. Renewable electricity generation in 2012 rose by almost seven per cent on the previous year to 14,646 Gigawatt hours (GWh), a record for Scotland. This is equivalent to well over a third (almost 39 per cent) of gross electricity consumption in 2011 in Scotland. Wind energy was the largest contributor of renewable generation in Scotland and also had a record year in 2012. Wind farms in Scotland produced a record amount of electricity in 2012, totalling 8,296 GWh and contributing the equivalent of around 22 per cent of our electricity needs. (Scottish Government, 2013)
As the most technically and commercially proven renewable electricity generation technology, wind turbines have a vital role to play in progressing towards achieving these ambitious targets.
The proposed wind farm and storage project at Cairnmore Hill is one of the important steps towards creating a low carbon, sustainable energy supply for Scotland. Along with other technologies, such as tidal, solar, biomass and wave energy, and a significant reduction in energy demand, wind farms will contribute to a sustainable future for Scotland in the face of the challenges posed by climate change.