Scotland Wind Revolution: First Offshore floating Turbines power 20,000 Homes

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The BBC reports that five massive floating wind turbines off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland have gone operational. They generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. This “Hywind” project was built by the Norwegian firm Statoil.

It is an exciting development, since a lot of high-wind areas are offshore and being able to install turbines out there will permit us to capture that energy. There is also sometimes some public opposition to onshore turbines (though it appears to be ungrounded), and putting them 10 or 15 miles out from the coast would avoid such pushback.

In the first six months of 2017, wind supplied 57% of Scottish electricity. Electricity generation from wind is up 13% from the same period in 2016.

And, in some months, wind powered the entire country. In June of this year, wind generated 113% of Scottish electricity use, which means they exported some electricity and in principle for that month did not need any natural gas. Reliably, over half of Scottish electricity comes from renewables. That figure in the United States is 10%.

Scotland wants to get 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, which will be about 30% of its total energy consumption (household heating, gasoline-fueled transportation, etc.)

In 2016, Scotland, which only has 5.4 million of the UK’s 66 million people (8%), was nevertheless responsible for 25% of the renewable electricity in the country.


World’s first floating offshore wind farm in Scotland.- BBC News

5 Responses

  1. At least, inevitably, when the turbines “break”, the concept of a devastating oil slick is not on the table.

  2. The gasoline-fueled transportation may be on the way out too. Scotland is not likely to lag far behind the English cities threatening to ban petroleum-engined cars from their jurisdictions. And gas is awfully expensive over there. Individuals buying electric cars seem more comfortable committing when they know renewable electricity is in place, either commercially or from their own devices.

  3. Juan: it is interesting to note that these new windmills were originally slated to be developed and sited offshore in Maine waters. Statoil had a deal with the Maine PUC to do so, but our right-wing governor, Paul LePage convinced the Legislature to throw a wrench into this deal by changing the terms at the last minute. So Statoil withdrew and went to Scotland. Our loss.

  4. America energy is 10% renewables???
    Only if you include hydro, one of the most inefficient ways of utilizing solar energy, that wrecks rivers, has a very large carbon footprint and decimates salmon stocks.

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