In our future power system, Scottish windpower will be able to play a new role - windpower will become even more valuable. If we make the right choices today, we will be able to secure the value of our natural assets in the future.
Scotland’s aim is to be self-sufficient with clean renewable energy. Climate change means that politicians and businesses in Scotland and all over Europe are investing in expanding our renewable energy capacity which includes both onshore and offshore wind power. It is necessary to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and stop global warming.
Rapid technological development means that the price of new renewable energy such as wind power continues to decrease. In the last ten years the cost of building onshore wind power has halved. This means that more and more wind power is being built and planned in Scotland.
With much more renewable energy available, Scottish windpower can play a new role. When Scotland is generating more wind power than it can use in the UK, we will be able to send it to Norway to be ‘stored’ in the huge hydropower storage system available there. The water reservoirs there store huge amounts of energy that can be turned on or off in seconds. Hydropower is one of the most flexible energy forms in the world.
This means that in the future we will have a power system where our wind energy can be distributed and stored more efficiently. But when the wind reduces, Norwegian hydropower can be used to meet the need for clean renewable power.
NorthConnect is a power connection that connects Scottish wind power with Norwegian hydropower. It's a perfect match. Scotland has a lot of wind when Norway has little rain, and Norway has overflowing reservoirs when the wind is at its quietest in Scotland.
Power connections are important to increase the exchange of clean power between countries and through the more efficient use of energy. NorthConnect's power connection is also important because it ensures that the UK, which has a lot of wind power, can use hydropower as a balancing power when the wind reduces. This will in turn stimulate increased development of wind power.
In this way, Norwegian hydropower can become a fast charger in the renewable power market.