FAQs

Please find below some information and statistics in relation to renewables.

Hoolan Energy is a member of Scottish Renewables and further information and questions can be found on their website.

If there is a question about Hoolan Energy you would like answered then please get in touch via our Contact page.

  • Why Renewables? +

    To reduce our carbon footprint.

    The Scottish Government has set an ambitious and challenging target to deliver at least the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020. Reaching this target could help Scotland simultaneously reduce emissions to tackle climate change, increase our energy security and ultimately create a world leading renewable energy industry supporting thousands of jobs.

    Renewables are now a major part of our energy mix, with technologies such as wind, hydro and biomass providing the equivalent of around half of Scotland’s electricity needs. Figures released in March 2016 showed that 57% of Scotland's electricity comes from renewables.

    Onshore wind, which currently makes up the largest proportion of Scottish renewable energy generation, has grown steadily in recent years, backed by some of the best wind resources in Europe.

  • How much carbon is reduced? +

    Renewable energy is one of the best tools we have to combat climate change. As the proportion of renewable electricity in Scotland grows it gradually displaces the need to generate electricity from polluting fossil fuels, reducing total carbon emissions. The chart below sets out estimates of CO2 emissions displaced by renewables from 2008 to 2013.

    In 2014 renewable electricity generation displaced approximately 12,300,000 tonnes of CO2, equal to around 23 per cent of Scotland’s carbon emissions in 2013, the most recent year for which carbon emission statistics are available.

  • Load Factors? +

    The capacity factor or load factor of a wind turbine is the ratio of actual energy produced in a given time, compared with its full potential. Over a year, the output from a single turbine will vary depending on wind speeds. A typical turbine is expected to generate approximately 20 to 40 per cent of its theoretical maximum output over a year.

    The average load factor for wind turbines in Scotland from 2000 to 2012 was 27.9 per cent. However, it is important to consider that this is the average output and that turbines will be active and producing power for around 6,000 to 7,500 hours each year, or about 70 to 85 per cent of the time.

    No energy generation technology works at 100 per cent capacity 100 per cent of the time. For example, in 2012, the load factor for coal was 57.1 per cent; for gas, 30.4 per cent; and for nuclear, 70.1 per cent.

  • Constraint Payments? +

    All electricity generators have their output modified by National Grid to ensure demand for electricity is met without the network being overloaded.

    These ‘transmission constraints’ are where bottlenecks occur and generators have to stop feeding electricity to the grid. This process is part of National Grid’s role and is a fundamental part of how the grid across the UK currently operates.

    All generators, including gas, coal and renewables, seek compensation for being constrained by National Grid. Constraint payments to wind farms from April 2013 to April 2014 amounted to £49.7 million. This is just 14.6 per cent of the overall costs of £339 million which is mainly paid to fossil fuel generators to manage demand on the electricity grid. In the longer term, one of the ways this congestion could be reduced is by ensuring sufficient grid infrastructure upgrades and investing in energy storage technologies.

  • Economic Benefits? +

    In 2013, Scottish Renewables commissioned independent researchers to survey 541 companies working in the renewable energy field in the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The report, published in 2014, showed that 11,695 people worked in full-time employment. Of all renewables technologies, onshore wind was the biggest employer with 3,397 people working in the sector.

    Jobs in onshore wind are located in communities throughout Scotland with Glasgow, the Lothians and Highlands & Islands having particularly high number of people employed in the sector. Onshore wind is also a driver for jobs in other areas, especially in upgrading the electricity grid, which employs 529 people in Scotland.

  • Life of a Wind Turbine? +

    The design and quality of turbine manufacturing is improving all the time, but generally and according to international standards, individual wind turbines are built to last more than 25 years if they are maintained properly.

  • What Happens After? +

    Following the operational stage of a wind farm development, three options are potentially available for the use of a site. Firstly, the site can be repowered, replacing the current turbines, with the developer going through the planning system with the plans. Alternatively, if the turbines are in good condition, the site can submit to be re-consented for a further operational stage with no change to existing infrastructure.

    Finally, the site can be decommissioned in line with a pre-agreed plan with the relevant planning authority. The Scottish Government has stated, “wind farm developers must satisfy the local authority that they have a suitable and robust plan for decommissioning and restoration as one of the conditions of being given permission to build and operate the wind farm, and must also satisfy the local authority that a financial bond is in place to meet the expected costs."

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