The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Scotland Zips Past U.S. on Road to 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2020
Scotland is on the fast track to using 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.
The country got 40 percent of its power from renewable sources last year—a 24-percent improvement from 2010. To show just how far behind the U.S. is from that mark, Juan Cole skips over a nation-to-nation comparison in favor of pitting the similarly sized State of Arizona against Scotland.
"Arizona gets 9 percent of its electricity from renewables, despite vast solar potential that completely dwarfs that of Scotland," Cole writes. "Almost all Arizona renewable energy is hydroelectric. About 35 percent of Arizona electricity is from coal, the dirtiest possible source. A similar proportion comes from natural gas, also a big source of carbon dioxide emissions.
"Arizona has a pitiful plan to be at 15 percent renewables by 2025, which is the sort of goal that dooms the earth."
Both Scotland and Arizona have about 5 million residents, but Scotland is moving toward its 100-percent goal with expectations of reaching the halfway point by 2015. Meanwhile, Arizona set a precedent this year by imposing a solar energy surcharge specifically for net metered customers.
Scotland has also decreased its use of nuclear energy from 50 percent to 34 percent in the face of the United Kingdom government's commitment to building nuclear plants and fracking underground rocks in search of natural gas.
"By the time the last new renewable electric power installations are being put in in Scotland in 2020, it will be crazy to use any other source," writes Cole. "If the whole world did what Scotland is doing, an enormous climate change catastrophe could be averted.
"Scotland is demonstrating that going completely green rapidly enough to keep global warming to a 2 degrees Centigrade increase is entirely possible. It is a matter of political will, not of technology or expense."
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Raphael Tsavkko Garcia
Rarely has something so precious fallen into such unsafe hands. Since Jair Bolsonaro took the Brazilian presidency in 2019, the Amazon, which makes up 10 percent of our planet's biodiversity and absorbs an estimated 5 percent of global carbon emissions, has been hit with a record number of fires and unprecedented deforestation.
Microsoft announced ambitious new plans to become carbon negative by 2030 and then go one step further and remove by 2050 all the carbon it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975, according to a company press release.
Winter is upon us and so is the risk of vitamin D deficiency and infections. Vitamin D, which is made in our skin following sunlight exposure and also found in oily fish (mackerel, tuna and sardines), mushrooms and fortified dairy and nondairy substitutes, is essential for good health. Humans need vitamin D to keep healthy and to fight infections. The irony is that in winter, when people need vitamin D the most, most of us are not getting enough. So how much should we take? Should we take supplements? How do we get more? And, who needs it most?
An expanse of uncommonly warm seawater in the Pacific Ocean created by a marine heatwave led to a mass die-off of one million seabirds, scientists have found.