Scotland

Scottish Power to add solar and battery power to wind farms

A wind turbine in the sun at Whitelee
Image caption The UK's largest onshore wind farm is at Whitelee, near Glasgow

The amount of energy harnessed through solar power is set to increase.

Scottish Power said it planned "hybrid technology" by adding solar panels to wind farms. Similar proposals have also been submitted for sites in England.

The company said it would also install huge batteries to store electricity at sites in a bid to increase the reliability of renewable sources.

A so-called "super battery" is currently being constructed at Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow.

Although lacks the solar energy potential of countries near the equator, Scotland does receive similar levels of sunlight to Germany, which was an early leader in solar energy production.

Image copyright Scottish Power
Image caption The battery storage site at Whitlee will be half the size of a football pitch when complete

The proposals, which are the first from Scottish Power to make use of solar power, are designed to get "the absolute maximum potential out of every clean energy project".

Speaking at the annual COP25 climate change event, Scottish Power CEO Keith Anderson said using a mixture of renewable energy sources was the most efficient and reliable method of producing green electricity.

He added: "The costs for building wind, solar and batteries have reduced considerably in recent years, and they complement each other very well."

Solar, wind and battery

Scottish Power also committed to developing existing wind farms with new renewable technology.

In 2016, energy company Vattenfall began tests on combining wind and solar at its site in west Wales. Parc Cynog is now a fully operational "solar and wind farm".

Image caption The Scottish and UK government have committed to net-zero emissions targets

Climate targets

The announcement comes after the Scottish government declared a climate emergency and committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2045 earlier this year.

Net-zero is the point where the same volume of greenhouse gases is being emitted as is being absorbed through offsetting techniques such as forestry.

UN conferences also set targets for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A significant agreement at COP21 in Paris saw nearly 200 countries agree to tackle climate change for the first time.

This year the conference in Madrid is expected to focus on emissions targets for next year.

Next year's conference, COP26, will be held in Glasgow in November.