Weather doubles UK wind energy output

Wind farm plants across the UK have seen their electricity output double as a result of the recent weather, industry body Scottish Renewables has claimed.

As gusts reached more than 100mph, wind turbines were operating at 60%, rather than the usual 30%, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the organisation said.

Despite the increase, thousands of homes across Scotland were left without power and transport was disrupted. Many wind turbines were also shut down at the height of this week’s storms.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart, said: "The recent high winds have resulted in higher output from wind farms, despite some wind turbines having to close down in the very worst of the storms.

Mr Stuart said onshore wind power met about 12% of electricity demand in 2010 and that "despite the critics", 2011 was on track to emerge as a record year for renewable energy.

The figures for wind farm output for Tuesday and Wednesday were calculated using an average "daily load factor", which measures the theoretical potential for generating power.