March 31, 2020
Scottish demand for storage to rise on renewables surge
Professor Brian Sturgess

The Scottish Government has announced that renewable energy accounted for 90% of all the electricity used in Scotland in 2019 up from 76.2% in 2018. This amounted to 30.5 terrawatt hours (TWh) generated compared to 26.5 TWh in 2018. The growth in renewables with an intermittent generation of electricity supply means that Scotland will require a considerable expansion in grid level storage capacity. Last year Scottish Power announced plans to launch a large grid scale battery-storage system to capture renewable power from its 214 wind turbines which should be operational at the end of this year. The 50 MW lithium-ion battery system will allow Scottish Power to store energy when wind speeds are high and release it when they're low. The Scottish Government’s Electricity Generation Policy Statement states that electricity storage could play an important and growing role alongside renewable electricity production, helping to address the intermittency of certain forms of renewable generation, complementing interconnection and demand side. .


The majority of Scotland’s renewable electricity generation
continues to be converted from wind on land (22.4 TWh), despite offshore wind increasing production from 1.3 TWh to 3.3 TWh in the last year,  attributed in part to the Beatrice wind farm off the Caithness coast becoming fully operational last May. Renewable energy projects – predominantly offshore wind farms in the Moray Firth – are being planned or are under construction, the Scottish Government said, with an estimated additional capacity of 13 GWh. 


The amount of renewable energy produced last year is equivalent to the electricity needed to power all Scottish homes for more than three years, or the energy used to charge 6.7 billion phones for a year. The Scottish Government has a target of 100% of gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2021. However, the Scottish Government’s key overall energy target is that half of Scotland's heat, transport and electricity energy needs are met by renewables by 2030 which compares to the UK Government’s target is that 15% of energy used is from renewable sources by 2020. This ambitious target will stimulate the market demand for behind the meter storage for residences, businesses, institutions and electric vehicle charging. 

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