Not everyone likes “windmills” in the Scottish landscape, but the fact is they’re contributing a big slice of our electricity. For the first time ever, renewable power (wind and hydro) has overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity generated in Scotland. In the first six months of this year, wind and hydro power generated10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity compared to nuclear power’s contribution of 7.8TWh.
The data also shows the scale of Scottish wind power: in Scotland alone it generated enough electricity to supply three millions homes in the UK, equivalent to 126% of the electricity needs of every home north of the border.
Ironically, shortly before this announcement, the Edinburgh-based company Pelamis, a pioneer in wave power, went into administration after failing to secure enough funding to develop its technology, so there’s still work to be done in harnessing all of Scotland’s renewables potential. And Dundee is still waiting for a renewables company to commit to its waterfront development.
But overall, the signs are positive: renewables are slowly but surely making an impact. This is good news for consumers, who will gain from cheaper, clean energy sources, and for our planet, which will gain a vital breathing space in its efforts to recover from the onslaught of carbon emissions.