Tackling climate change has been high on the list of priorities for politicians and leaders around the world recently. Governments across the globe are making pledges to cut carbon emissions and work together in order to create a brighter future for everyone.
The Scottish government have been particularly pioneering when it comes to environmental concerns and are aiming to obtain 31% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy by 2011 with this figure rising to 50% by the year 2020.
The efforts being made by Scottish ministers will not only help to meet UK renewable energy goals but will also help to achieve shared European targets.
Most of this renewable energy will be created by wind farms, as this technology is well developed and commercially viable.
Scotland’s potential wind generating capacity (36.5 GW) far exceeds its requirements (10.5 GW), which means there is potential for the country to become a net exporter of wind-produced electricity.
The gusty Scottish weather means there are plenty of opportunities to generate power through both onshore and offshore wind energy. Scotland has 25% of Europe’s wind energy source and around 60% of the United Kingdom’s onshore wind installed capacity, giving the country the potential to become a powerhouse in the renewable energy industry.
The majority of this wind energy is generated in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, an area which is comparable to the size of Belgium and one of the windiest places in Europe.
Asides from commercial viability, there are many reasons why wind farms are advantageous. Wind power is a clean way of producing energy as there is no dangerous resulting waste and wind farms do not contribute to global warming.
Wind power is a cost effective way of generating energy. The first offshore wind turbines in Scotland are now producing power more cheaply than the most recently erected nuclear power stations.
The abundance and reliability of wind power is another plus point. Scotland’s wind factor makes it the ideal location for wind farms and the resource is much greater during the colder months of the year when energy demand is at its highest. Wind farms are also a good way of supplying energy to remote areas.
Wind farms are a proven effective way to generate green energy and wind power is now one of the most popular energy technologies. Wind energy is also popular with the public; just over eight out of ten Britons are in favour of wind energy.