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The Jehoshua Novels


Scotland renewable energy – Best response to climate change

Juan Cole departs from his usual topic of the Middle East to give credit where huge credit is due. Scotland is well on its way to powering itself entirely on renewable energy. They are showing the world that this can be done. Scotland renewable energy is primarily hydro and wind. However tidal turbines and wave devices are in development and should be commercially available soon. They are on target to hit their goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020 and have been rightfully called “the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.” While they do have NIMBYS too (The Donald has hissy fits at the thought of wind turbines visible from Scottish golf courses and his home there), Scotland is way ahead of the US on renewable energy. The US still has no offshore wind while Scotland may power much of their country from it soon.

Winner: The 2012 Amun-Ra award goes the far-sighted First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, one of the contemporary world’s great heroes. Scotland gets the award because it has the ambitious goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, and it is making amazing progress toward attaining it. Although many provinces or countries get 60% or more of their electricity from renewables, most of these depend mainly on hydro-electric. For those without riparian resources, the challenge is to implement other renewable energy generating technologies. Scotland is favorably situated to develop wind power, and is going for it in a big way.

3 comments to Scotland renewable energy – Best response to climate change

  • Synoia

    Scotland is not the UK. (Steve would agree).

    Scotland has a population of about 5.2 Million

    The UK has a population of about 62 Million.

    The 62 million paid for Scotland’s energy, set the policies in place, built and paid for the facilities.

    The solution is probably not scalable for the whole UK. Especially wind power.

    I’ve been reading this statement for 40 years:

    However tidal turbines and wave devices are in development and should be commercially available soon.

    And I still don’t believe it. The sea is a harsh unforgiving environment for machines, especially tethered machines.

    • Tide-driven generators were planned off Eastport Maine in the 1940s to take advantage of the high tides there – Passamaquoddy Bay being an arm of the Bay of Fundy which has some of the highest tides around. They never got anything operational. There is a plant currently functioning on the Nova Scotia side, but not without problems. Good in theory, bad in practice.

    • “The 62 million paid for Scotland’s energy, set the policies in place, built and paid for the facilities”

      Not true. This was a project put in place by the devolved Scottish parliament and paid for out of the Scottish budget. Scotland has been a net contributor to the UK economy for decades too, so even Scotland’s conventional power infrastructure (and a fair wee bit of England’s) were afforded out of the Scottish purse.

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