Renewables are Scotland’s main energy source

Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuirs is one of the largest in the region
Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuirs is one of the largest in the region

Renewable energy is now Scotland’s main source of power - and the wind turbines in Berwickshire are certainly doing their bit.

In the Borders there are 554 turbines, either operational or approved, producing over 5MW of power and jointly capable of producing a total of 909.2 MW of energy. 245 of these turbines are in Berwickshire, producing 645.6 MW of energy.

A further 214 Borders turbines producing over 5 MW of power are pending - producing a further 461MW of energy. Of these 32 are in Berwickshire.

Records from the first half of 2014, show renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The announcement that renewables have become Scotland’s main source of electricity is historic news for our country, and shows the investment made in the sector is helping to deliver more power than ever before to our homes and businesses.

“This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change.

“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.

“The renewables industry has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.

“Offshore wind and marine energy are still in the early stages of development but could make a big contribution to our future energy needs if they get the right support from government. That support includes the delivery of grid connections to the islands, home to the UK’s very best wind, wave and tidal sites.”

Not everyone sees the march of onshore wind turbines in such a positive light, with concern growing that parts of the Borders and in particular the Lammermuirs in Berwickshire are becoming saturated with them.

Out of a UK total of 4,350 wind turbines, 2,315 turbines have been constructed north of the Border. And 12.6% of the UK total is in the Borders (5.6% in Berwickshire).

In December 2013 Scottish Borders Council approved new guidance for single and small groups of turbines in Berwickshire because of growing concern that Berwickshire was coming under pressure from these types of proposals.