In the first half of 2014, clean energy produced more power in Scotland than any other source of power. This is attributed to the history of renewable energy in the country which exploited the climate and geography in order to come up with a long term and sustainable clean energy policy. By European and even global standards, Scotland has shown a commitment to utilize green technology in its national energy policy.
Renewable Energy in Scotland
There are several types of renewable energy in Scotland. To start with, Scotland has exploited its wave and energy potential. The Scottish government has encouraged marine energy innovation and has even given awards for the same. The onshore wind power has decimated the energy output provided by hydroelectric power. In the first quarter of 2013, wind generation reached a record high. It should be noted that Scotland boasts 25 % of Europe’s offshore wind resources. This potential is going to be enhanced in a more efficient way with the increased use of technology.
In addition, Scotland has a rich potential for biomass due to its extensive forests and highlands. Sources of biomass include forest residue, short rotation coppice, and recycled wood. The continued conservation of the environment will translate to more opportunities for biomass. Lastly, hydro power plants has made a big contribution when it comes to satisfying the electricity consumption of the Scottish population for both the household as well as business.
Education and Training
The Renewables Training Network (TNT) has awarded approval to Renewable UK to deliver a number of courses that are related to marine and wind renewable energy sector. The Energy Skills Challenge Fund allows new entrants in the energy sector to gain experience in renewables and micro-renewables. Apprenticeships and internships are other options available for a person interested in penetrating the Scottish renewable energy sector
Other education and training opportunities include the National Skills Academy-Power and the Career Transition Partnership. The qualifications related to renewable energy in Scotland are Scottish Qualifications Agency and SQA- engineering professions. More institutions and training programs are at the conception and planning stages.
Five Major Clean Energy Projects
There are several major renewable projects in Scotland, but here are the top 5.
The Maygen Tidal Energy Project
To start with, the MeyGen project began off the Scottish coast in 2014. It is the largest planned tidal wave project globally.
Here is a video on their technology from Meygen
Second, the Inch Cape offshore windfarm project will contribute to Scottish clean energy project efforts. This will be through reducing greenhouse emissions and constant energy supply.
Fourth, the Cylde Wind Farm was approved by the Scottish parliament in 2008 and continues to benefit many people. Lastly, Sounds of Islay, will contain ten tidal stream generating devices for better energy output.
The Future of Renewable Energy in Scotland
The Guardian notes that energy savings coupled with the successful execution of the planned clean energy projects could decarbonize the country by the year 2030. This is a different goal from the 2020 objective which aims at providing a 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources but still allowing gas and coal to remain on the grid.
The global concern for human-induced climate change has made Scotland more focused and aggressive in adopting green energy practices. The country has realized that it is not immune to the effects of climate change. Furthermore, it is keen on emerging as a moral authority in the field of climate change and in particular being at the forefront of green energy efforts. Its director of Sustainable Development Commission, Maf Smith, says,
Governments across the countries are shying away from taking the necessary action. The Scottish government must be commended for its intention to lead the way.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.