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Scotland just generated more power than it needs from wind turbines alone

Yes!!

BEC CREW
12 AUG 2016
 

Last Sunday, Scotland achieved something great - for the first time on record, wind power alone generated 106 percent of Scotland’s electricity needs in a single day.

Environmental group WWF Scotland has just confirmed that on 7 August 2016, wind turbines in Scotland pumped 39,545 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity into the National Grid, while the nation's homes, businesses, and industry needed just 37,202 MWh.

 

"While it’s not impossible that this has happened in the past, it’s certainly the first time since we began monitoring the data in 2015 that we’ve had all the relevant information to be able to confirm it," WWF Scotland director Lang Banks told the Associated Press

"However, on the path to a fully renewable future, this certainly marks a significant milestone."

Before we get into the details, there are a couple of caveats that we should get out there first.

To say this was a particularly windy day is an understatement. It was chaos. Wind speeds reached an incredible 185 km/h (115mph) in some parts of the country, forcing bridges to close, trains to be delayed, and ferries cancelled. 

Power was cut in parts of Dundee, Scotland’s fourth biggest city, and a 17,000 tonne oil rig was ripped from its tug and floated to shore.

It was also a Sunday, which means businesses and industry facilities would have required a whole lot less energy than they would on a weekday, so just bear that in mind.

 

But the fact that the country was able to achieve this feat at all goes to show that renewables are more viable than ever as a replacement for fossil fuel. 

Despite having the largest oil reserves in the European Union - accounting for nearly 60 percent of total EU reserves - Scotland has been going all in on renewables over the past few years.

Back in April, it announced that it had generated 57.7 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable sources in 2015, which put it squarely at the halfway mark of powering itself on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

It's also planning on building the world's largest floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead - a town at the easternmost point on mainland Scotland. If they get this thing off the ground (so to speak), it could be supplying power to nearly 20,000 homes by the end of 2017.

"Scotland’s abundant energy resources play a vital role in delivering security of electricity supply across the UK. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting onshore wind, which is one of our most cost-effective low-carbon energy technologies," a government spokesperson told the AP. 

With the cost of wind energy now on par with natural gas, Germany achieving 95 percent of its daily energy needs via renewables recently, and Portugal clocking four straight days powered entirely by renewable energy, the future of energy is here.

I, for one, welcome our new turbine overlords.

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