Scotland’s two main electricity suppliers lost upwards of £50 million in revenues last year as the unusually still, dry weather took its toll on their wind and hydro turbines for the second year in a row.
The output of Scottish Power Renewables’ wind farms’ power was down more than a fifth in the first nine months of the year, taking £37m from its top line. December was also largely windless and parent company Iberdrola is likely to confirm more disappointing numbers for the last quarter.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), which trades as Scottish Hydro, actually saw an 8% rise in wind output in the six months ending in September because it added 195MW of new turbines. But like-for-like output was substantially down. SSE also experienced serious hydro-electricity pain due to the dry period in May and June. The Sunday Herald estimates the overall shortfall was around £16m.
Angelos Anastasiou, a utilities analyst at Investec, said two still years looked like “more than coincidence”, adding: “When it’s very cold, the wind doesn’t seem to blow onshore, which is quite disturbing given the hopes that the industry has for it.”
A spokesman for SPR said: “Outwith the weather conditions in 2009 and 2010, the UK has been measured as the windiest country in Europe. Investments are based on long-term returns over 25 years.”
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