We are facing a climate crisis that is being caused, in part, by the use of fossil fuels. Although Scotland produces almost 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, we need to electrify transport and heating and move away from fossil fuels.

This means we require more renewable energy sources to provide renewable electricity and decarbonise our transport and heating by, for example, moving away from petrol and diesel cars, and gas boilers.

The Scottish Government has declared a Climate Emergency and has set out ambitions for 8–12 GW of new onshore wind power to help reach Scotland’s 2045 net-zero target. Scotland and the rest of the UK have legally binding targets to reach net zero and new onshore wind development will play a pivotal role in meeting these.

Project contribution

The Beinn Ghlas Wind Farm Repowering Project has the potential to make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of our electricity system: the project could produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 44,650[1] homes.

Energy Security

Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy and Scotland has some of the best wind resource in Europe.

With the cost of living and energy prices rising, the question is often asked, why are energy bills increasing if onshore wind is the cheapest form of electricity generation? This is due to the ‘merit order’ that is used when every generation type is available to meet demand. In this, technologies are ranked to determine which is brought into the grid first. Fossil fuel generation has a high marginal cost (the change in the total cost of producing an additional quantity); however, the marginal cost for renewables is almost zero. Therefore, when they are available, renewables are always chosen for the grid first because they are the cheapest to run, but the electricity price reflects the higher marginal cost of gas when this is needed for the grid.

The Office of National Statistics states that gas is used to fuel about a third of the UK’s electricity generation, so rising gas prices have, in turn, led to rising electricity prices.

The design of electricity systems still has to catch up with the role of renewable energy, and this is recognised by the UK Government and Scottish Government, who have plans to make the grid more ‘renewable ready’ to ensure far more renewables can go into the grid at reduced cost.