The question comes as surely as a rainy day in Scotland. Talk – or write – about renewable energy or the climate emergency and somebody will, inevitably, make the same dull rhetorical point. What happens, they will ask, when the wind stops blowing? Well, right now what mostly happens is that gas or nuclear power picks up the slack. That is about to change as Scotland pioneers what energy experts call “super batteries”. Some people have called the rise of the battery a new “Ion Age” – a pun on the lithium ion technology which is basically the same as those we all have in our TVs and mobile phones. ScottishPower has already announced plans for a first such bank of lithium ion electricity storage units at its giant Whitelee wind farm – and this was approved by local and national authorities last year. But now the chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, Lindsay McQuade, says she intends to develop similar facilities – which she describes as the size of a supermarket – up and down the country. The super battery revolution effectively marks a second stage in Scotland’s transition to renewable electricity. Bluntly, McQuade said, it means we are less likely to need to turn on the gas if the wind stops blowing.
Herald 5th April 2020 read more »