A new report has revealed that on the 7th of August, Scotland managed to power itself completely from renewable energy. It, therefore, entered a select club, alongside nations such as Portugal, Denmark, and Costa Rica, who at some point generated all their electricity needs from renewable sources.
When life gives you lemons
“We have a great resource,” said Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, an industry association. “It’s Scotland’s terrible weather.”
As anyone who’s visited Scotland will tell you, the country is cold and windy. Yet somehow they’ve managed to turn all that to their advantage and have increased renewable energy generation dramatically, especially thanks to the gusty areas around the highlands.
At the end of 2015, there was 7,723 megawatts (MW) of installed renewable electricity capacity in Scotland – a figure that is constantly increasing. Wind power is growing the fastest, as the Scots are quick to take advantage of their unconventional resources. But on August 7, 2016, the wind was particularly strong. The exceptional output enabled the country to generate all of its energy from clean sources. Sure, it’s just for one day but it’s a moral victory, and Scotland has more to come. If everything goes according to plan, the country can go fully renewable by 2020, and even if that target isn’t achieved then most of the energy grid will be decarbonized by then.
“We’ve decarbonized much of our electricity system. That’s a big success. But the hard bit is still to come,” said Stuart, the Scottish Renewables chief. “This has to be the beginning of the story. It can’t be the end.”
In the end, what can you do? When life gives you wind, the best you can do is… wind energy.
As an interesting sidenote, nature really acted up that day. The same high winds which powered Scotland on the 7th of August also caused a 17,000-ton oil rig to be blown ashore. Quite the irony, isn’t it?