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
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.
'This is a Sick Statement': Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Under Pressure for Anti-Environmental Policies, Blames NGOs for Record Amazon Fires
'Work Together' or 'Destroy it': Goldman Prize Winner Francia Márquez on World's Second Deadliest Country For Environmental Activists
In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.
By Stuart Braun
A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.
Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.