Wind Energy Powered All of Scotland’s Households for Six Months
That’s three million homes, and counting.
Ah, Scotland! Famous for its many lochs, Scotch whiskey, bagpipes, kilts and castles.
And wind energy?
That’s right. Scotland, according to a recent study obtained by the Independent, is making great strides when it comes to wind energy production.
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An independent analysis by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland, based off data from the organization WeatherEnergy, found that wind turbines generated enough energy to power 118% of Scottish households in June.
Furthermore, between January and June of this year, wind turbines supplied 124% of the energy necessary to power all of Scotland’s 3 million households and more than half of the country’s total energy, which includes businesses and industrial factories.
One factor the WWF Scotland wind power analysis didn’t bring up? Job creation.
According to CNBC’s Anmar Frangoul, Scotland’s renewable energy economy provides nearly 60,000 jobs.
“These statistics reinforce our country’s reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse and are a vindication of the Scottish government’s energy policy,” Scotland’s energy minister Paul Wheelhouse told the Independent.
As of 2015, Scotland had 2,683 wind turbines across the country, or one turbine for every 2,000 people, and is home to the second largest wind farm in Europe. It is also home to the world’s first floating wind farm, Quartz reports.
Solar energy production isn’t lagging far behind. An analysis of rooftop solar by the same company, WWF Scotland, found that solar energy provided more than 100% of electricity needs in nine cities across the country, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.
Scotland’s commitment to the environment goes back to 2009, when Scotland passed its ambitious Climate Change Act, which set a target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.
On June 30 of this year, the government announced that it plans to introduce a new climate change bill with “even more ambitious targets.” If passed, the bill will mandate a 90% reduction of emissions by 2050.
Part of Scotland’s success in promoting renewables is due to pressure by the Scottish Labour Party to meet and exceed emissions goals outlined in the Paris agreement, BBC reports.
“Scottish Labour has made clear that we need a new approach to hitting emissions targets,” Claudia Beamish, Scottish Labour's spokeswoman for environment, climate change and land reform, said in 2016.
But some campaigners in Scotland are pushing for even more action, the Herald reports.
“Our future can be a zero carbon one, but only with strong action from our leaders,” Dr. Richard Dixon, a member of the advocacy group Stop Climate Chaos Scotland told the Herald.
And leaders would be well-served to listen to Dixon.