Clean Power

Published on May 15th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Scotland’s Rockstar Clean Energy Leadership — 39% Renewable Electricity Today, 100% By 2020, & More

May 15th, 2013 by  

Scotland may not be as large as Germany or Australia or the US, but it certainly deserves a bit more attention when it comes to its clean energy leadership.

Scotland already gets over 30% renewable electricity — about 33% today according to the interviewee in the first video below; 39% of total electricity demand in 2012, according to the Scottish government. It has a 2020 target of 100% renewable electricity. And it also has an ambitious overall renewable energy target.

Notably, Scotland has some wonderful renewable energy resources — especially wind and tidal resources. But come on, who doesn’t have wonderful renewable energy resources? From sunshine to wind to geothermal to less popular types of renewable energy, countries around the world have clean, renewable resources they can tap to generate their own energy.

Check out these two videos below from Fully Charged for more on Scotland’s rockstar clean energy leadership (h/t NewEnergyNews):

Here are some more stories from our team on Scotland’s clean energy leadership:

  1. No Coal, No Nuclear, Only Renewable Energy For Scotland By 2030?
  2. World’s Largest Tidal Turbine, in Scotland
  3. Wind Turbine Big Enough To Land A Helicopter On? Scotland Has It Covered
  4. Scotland Opens World’s Largest Marine Energy Park
  5. Biggest Offshore Wind Farm in the World Planned in Scotland
  6. Europe’s Biggest Wind Farm Starts Producing Electricity (in Scotland)
  7. Huge Scotland Wind Farm Given Green Light (on Shetland Islands)
  8. Scotland Plans World’s Largest Underwater Tidal Turbine Project
  9. Floating Wind Turbines In Scotland Get £15 Million
  10. Scotland Well On Track To Reach 500 MW Community Renewable Energy Goal
  11. Scottish Electricity Generation Plan Underway
  12. Scotland Could Get 50% Of Its Power From Renewable Sources By 2015, Says First Minister Alex Salmond
  13. Scotland Announces Drastic Decarbonization By 2030

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • While tidal is more expense now, expect a fast learning curve. Tides are more predictable than wind or even solar. You can plot tide charts years in advance. So between wind, tide, maybe a little solar, hydro. Then storage pump hydro and coming soon grid batteries. Plus they can always over install wind/tide and when they have too much to store sell to Europe, buy back when needed.

    While wave is still early, there are already multiple locations with flow turbines in the water, so is much closer to large scale prime time.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If… That expense thing.

      Seems to me that tidal generators should be cheaper than wind turbines or at least no more expensive. No land prep, foundations or towers. Tow them out and lower them into place.

      If they get close to that price point then there are a lot of ‘run of the river’ sites where the water flows 24/365.

      And that great big salt water river off the east coast of Florida.

      There must be enough energy in the Gulf Stream to light every bulb in the Southeast….

  • James Wimberley

    The Scottish Nationalist government in Edinburgh is making a play here to be more green than the UK it wants to leave. It has accepted that coal is dead, and oil is declining. What will be difficult is autarky. Lacking solar, it would have to balance abundant wind energy with expensive pumped hydro and slightly speculative tidal and wave.

    • I had a hunch that might be the case.

      And yes, the tidal/wave stuff is certainly a bit speculative at this point, and expensive. Thanks goodness for the great wind resources.

      • Dave2020

        Plans are in place to use Norwegian PHS to take surplus Scottish wind power, but the price tag is £1.75bn.

        NorthConnect, a 1.4GW HVDC cable, is “due to be commissioned before 2020”.

    • Ronald Brak

      At German installation costs, point of use solar will produce electricity at about 10 pence a kilowatt-hour making it competitive with retail electricity prices. As I’m certain that the cost of solar power will continue to decrease it could end up supplying a substantial amount of Scotland’s electricity. (But probably not in December.)

      • Bob_Wallace

        Run a wire to Morocco. Ship Scottish wind and tidal south at night, Moroccan solar north when its sunny down there.

        It’s already happening. Europe is getting ready to ship power around. It makes no sense for each little spot on the globe to be 100% self-contained when it comes to electricity.


        • Ronald Brak

          A solar panel produces about two thirds more kilowatt-hours in Morocco than Scotland but point of use solar competes with retail electricity prices and so gives Scotts an incentive to install it if it provides electricity at a cost lower than the retail price. It if got cheap enough point of use solar could provide most of Scottland’s electricity when the sun is shining (roofspace is a bit limited though). Improved transmission infrastructure will be useful if the sun isn’t shining in Scotland, but it is in Spain, Morocco, Greece, etc.

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