The Scottish government recently announced that in 2022, renewable technologies in that country produced the equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s electricity consumption.
Fossil fuels still supplied electricity in Scotland, helping to fill in gaps in renewable power, but the government figures showed that the growing amount of Scottish renewable generation can easily generate more power than the country uses. Scotland has seen significant growth in wind power as well as a small drop in overall electricity consumption.
Scotland, with a population of only 5.5 million, aims to produce enough renewable power to both meet its own demand and export clean electricity to other countries. The U.K. is the obvious potential customer, but it will need to upgrade its national power grid and develop enough capacity to store up surplus wind and solar power.
The U.K. itself is drawing less power from natural gas and coal than it has at any point in the last 66 years. Fossil fuels supplied only 33% of British electricity in 2023 while renewables supplied 43%.
Fossil power use in Britain peaked in 2008. Since then, power from natural gas has fallen nearly in half while coal power has dropped by 97%. The U.K. has aggressive decarbonization goals in place, but the current Conservative government under Prime Minister Sunak has recently set about weakening British climate policy.
Meanwhile, the Scottish government is talking about becoming a global renewables powerhouse and is making investments aimed at achieving it.
Photo, posted July 21, 2010, courtesy of Martin Abegglen via Flickr.