Scotland looks to power itself with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020

Scotland is on course to shift its energy sector to 100 percent renewables this year. This would be achieved just in time for the United Nations’ international climate talks, which will take place in the country.

Scotland Wind Turbine
Black Hill Wind Farm is estimated to save around 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Photo: Geograph

On the right track

Gizmodo reports that renewables provide 76 percent of electricity consumption in Scotland. This is because the country is constantly moving away from fossil fuels. Moreover, it had shut down its last coal-powered power plant four years ago.

In May 2018, Scotland introduced a new Climate Change Bill to Parliament. Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham shared that the Climate Change Bill sets out the country’s commitment to reduce emissions by 100 percent. It had set ambitious interim targets to strengthen the region’s leading position on climate change.

“By 2030, we will cut emissions by two-thirds and, unlike other nations, we will not use carbon offsetting, where other countries are paid to cut emissions for us, to achieve our goal,” Cunningham said on Scotland’s government website.

Scotland Wind Farm
Whitelee Wind Farm is the largest onshore wind farm in the United Kingdom and the second biggest in Europe. Photo: Bjmullan via Wikimedia Commons

Continuous revisions

Last year, the country further enhanced its strict stance on reducing emissions by setting a target date for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

The government states that the majority of the low carbon economic activity has been associated with the provision of renewables and low carbon electricity. Additionally, there have been provisions made in energy efficiency products and low carbon services.

Authorities highlight balanced regional opportunities that can arise from low carbon investments. Wind power is the fastest-growing technology in the country. In December 2018, it held 8423 MW of installed wind power capacity. This was split between 7800 MW from onshore wind and 623 MW from offshore turbines.

Along with wind power, solar energy is also held in high regard. Homeowners can get up to £17,500 interest-free loans for solar panels.

According to The Eco Experts, are currently more than 56,000 households across Scotland with solar PV systems. Additionally, the Solar Trade Association predicts that Scotland’s installed solar power capacity will reach 1.5 gigawatts in ten years.

Scotland Solar Panel
Despite Scotland’s lack of sunshine in the winter months, there is plenty of open land to catch rays throughout the year. Photo: Geograph

Thinking forward

There are also investments being made in alternative power sources such as biofuels. Westray Development Trust creates biodiesel made from the residual vegetable oils from the Orkney archipelago fish and chip shops.

Additionally, Argent Energy’s plant in Motherwell recycles tallow. It also uses cooking oil to produce 13,000,000 US gallons of biodiesel per year.

Altogether, Scotland is moving in the right direction when it comes to sustainability. Several countries talk about making changes but struggle to implement them. There are also many nations that don’t have much of an interest in tackling environmental issues at all.

What are your thoughts on Scotland’s approach to tackling climate change? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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