As we work to fight the climate crisis, one of the most important things we can do is continuously shifting towards renewable energy. And while some countries may be struggling to make that shift, Scotland is excelling. So far this year, Scotland’s wind turbines have produced almost double the amount of wind energy needed to power every household in Scotland, according to WWF.
In the coming months, Scotland will generate all of its electricity by using renewable sources such as wind and solar. The only remaining power plant that is not renewable is a natural gas-powered plant that will soon be replaced. This is a model for all of us. Creating electricity by burning fossil fuels emits heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, which are the cause of our planet warming. It’s time we all follow Scotland’s example in creating electricity.
Fossil fuels are one of the main drivers of climate change, so shifting towards renewable energy is one of the main changes any country can make. Scotland, which will host this year’s UN climate summit in November, is considered a global leader on clean energy. The country set its goal to leave behind fossils by 2020, and an interim goal of powering 50 percent of its electricity with renewables by 2015 – a target exceeded.
Renewable energy powered 59 percent of Scotland’s energy in 2015, according to Scottish Development International. Since then, the country has continued to increase its use of renewables. In 2017, 68.1 percent of its energy came from clean sources, a figure which rose to 74.6 percent by 2018.
According to WWF, Scotland generated 9,831,320 megawatt-hours (MWh) of wind energy between January and July of 2019. That could power 182 percent of all the 4.4 million Scottish homes or 100 percent of the homes in Scotland and the North of England.
Scotland, whose southern city of Glasgow was named last September as the host for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), has a goal to source the equivalent of 100 percent of its electricity demand from renewable energy sources by the end of this year.
On the technology front, it lays claim to install the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, the 30MW Hywind project, to which it added last June a 1MW onshore battery storage system.
Wind power is the main favorite in Scotland, but other sources of renewable energy are also employed, such as solar, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric, and hydrokinetic (wave power). Achieving a 100% renewables-based energy matrix would add Scotland to the list of other countries that achieved the same goal, such as Paraguay, Iceland, and the Congo.
The meeting will also be expected to tie off the loose ends of COP25, in particular, to set out the rules for a carbon market between countries, deal with Australia’s much-criticized claims of “surplus credits” and set in motion the 2015 Paris Agreement as the key driver of international climate action.