A SURGE in Scotland’s wind power output has prompted a call for the Government to boost other renewable sectors to help cut carbon emissions.

Increased capacity and stronger winds combined to increase output from turbines by more than a quarter in October compared with last year.

News of the increased output was hailed by environmentalists as an “inspiration” to the rest of the world as delegates from almost 200 countries gather in Marrakech, Morocco, for the start of UN climate talks aimed at furthering agreements made at last year’s Paris climate summit.

The call for more action to ensure Scotland meets future climate change targets has come from WWF Scotland as the group published analysis by WeatherEnergy.

This found that in October this year wind turbines in Scotland provided 792,717MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 87 per cent of Scottish households or 2.1 million homes. This represents an increase of 27 per cent compared with that of October 2015, when wind energy provided 625,341MWh.

It also found that Scotland’s total electricity consumption, including homes, business and industry, for October was 2,080,065MWh. Wind power therefore generated the equivalent of 38 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity needs for the month.

“Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines surged by more than a quarter compared to the same period last year – supplying power equivalent to the electrical needs of over two million homes,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks.

“As delegates gather in Morocco to discuss continued international action on climate change, I hope Scotland’s success in cutting carbon emissions using renewable electricity inspires other countries to follow.

“If we are to meet future climate targets Scottish Ministers must build on the progress made in the electricity sector by setting a target to secure half of all our energy needs, including heat and transport, from renewable sources by 2030.”

The Scottish Government has said its draft energy strategy due to be published by the end of the year “will include exploring the option of setting a new renewable energy target”, and its progress on wind proves it is committed to powering Scotland’s future.

Last week Conservative energy spokesperson, Alexander Burnett, struggled to explain UK Government subsidies for French-owned nuclear power stations whilst calling for subsidies for clean wind energy to be cut. Commenting on this, SNP MSP Gillian Martin, who sits on Holyrood’s Economy Committee, said: “Our renewables sector is vital to jobs across the country, as well as helping us to meet our commitments on climate change – with WWF Scotland suggesting that use of renewables should be an ‘inspiration’ for other countries.

“The news simply shows how misguided and wrong the Scottish Tories are in their approach to energy and climate change. Just last week, we saw the confusion at the heart of Conservative energy policy, as their energy spokesperson Alexander Burnett suggested subsidies should only support ‘emerging technologies’ whilst tying himself in knots trying to defend the UK Government’s subsidising of the white elephant Hinkley Point project.

Scottish Greens energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell welcomed the WWF’s report while also taking aim the Tories: “This report provides more evidence showing that now is the time to be investing in clean, renewable energy sources, not digging for more fossil fuel.

“Wind is the lowest cost renewable energy but Westminster’s ideological attacks have cost jobs in Scotland.”

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