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.