The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Scotland's Record-Breaking Wind Output Enough to Power 5 Million Homes
The country's onshore wind turbines provided more than 5.3 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid during the first three months of 2018, an impressive 44 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis of WWF Scotland wind power data by WeatherEnergy.
Over that first quarter, enough wind power was generated to supply the equivalent of five million homes with low-carbon electricity. The best day was on March 1, when 110,000 megawatt-hours of wind power could have supplied 173 percent of the nation's entire electricity demand.
"It's great to see renewables continuing to power Scotland, adding to the year on year evidence that greater investment in both renewables and storage is the way forward," said Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy.
WWF Scotland noted that these figures come fresh on the heels of data showing that 68 percent of Scotland's overall electricity demand was from renewables in 2017, and that renewables overtook nuclear as the second biggest source of power across the UK in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Scotland isn't just a leader in onshore wind—it's also home to the world's first floating wind farm. The 30-megawatt Hywind Scotland, located about 15 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast, churned out 65 percent of its maximum theoretical capacity during November, December and January, according to its operator, Statoil.
"Renewables have provided an incredible amount of power during the first three months of this year," Dr. Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland's acting director, said in a statement. "An increase of 44 percent on the record-breaking equivalent period in 2017 is clear evidence the investment made in this technology has paid off for the economy and the environment, putting Scotland at the forefront of the fight against climate change."
Gardner is calling on the rest of the UK government to work towards a low-carbon future.
"If Scotland's full renewables potential is to be unleashed to power our economy, heat our homes and charge our cars, then the UK government needs to stop excluding the cheapest forms of power, like onshore wind and solar, from the market," he said.
Last year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to end the sale of new gas and diesel-powered cars by 2032, eight years ahead of the UK government target. And unlike England, fracking was permanently banned in Scotland last year and has technically been under halt since 2015.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jason Bittel
It's that time of year again: Right now, monarch butterflies are taking wing in the mountains of northwestern Mexico and starting to flap their way across the United States.
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.
On Friday, Seal Rescue Ireland released Sesame the seal into the ocean after five months of rehabilitation at the Seal Rescue Ireland facility. Watch the release on EcoWatch's Facebook.
By Jordan Davidson
Guinness is joining the fight against single use plastic. The brewer has seen enough hapless turtles and marine life suffering from the scourge of plastic.
People of all ages are spending more of their day looking at their phones, computers and television screens, but parents now have another reason for limiting how much screen time their children get — it could lead to behavioral problems.