As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind” – that’s how Boris Johnson described the country’s potential to capitalise on renewable energy recently. For Scotland, it’s not the first time comparisons have been drawn with Saudi Arabia. Back when he was first minister, Alex Salmond said Scotland had the potential to be the “Saudi Arabia of renewables”. With a year to go until Glasgow hosts COP26, a UN climate change conference, BBC Scotland considers how renewable energy has developed. Back in 2009, only 27.2% of Scotland’s electricity came from renewable energy sources. It was 90.1% in 2019. The Scottish government has set a target of having the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand coming from renewable energy sources by the end of 2020. In order to achieve this, Scotland has been moving away from burning fossil fuels, with the last coal-fired power station, Longannet, closing in 2016. The only remaining gas-fired power station is at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. Onshore wind delivers about 70% of capacity, followed by hydro and offshore wind as Scotland’s main sources of renewable power. Scotland’s largest single source is the Beatrice offshore wind farm. Its 84 turbines – each with three 75m (246ft) blades – went into operation last year. The wind farm is is capable of generating enough power for 450,000 homes. The Seagreen Wind Farm, under construction off Angus, will eventually be even bigger and able to power 1.3m homes.
BBC 2nd Nov 2020 read more »