Scotland to Reach 100% Renewable Energy by 2020

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    Dec 31, 2013 12:03 AM GMT
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    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.”

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Dec 31, 2013 12:50 AM GMT
    Amazing.

    I was just subjected to the ordeal of a new heating and air conditioning system. I got the most efficient setup I could afford and, though I could not go through with installing the panels, I am glad to see that the system is ready for solar assistance.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 31, 2013 1:19 AM GMT
    Wow, way to go Scotland! That's incredible. I really hope the US follows their example.
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    Dec 31, 2013 1:29 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidoffshoreturbine.jpg
    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.”



    Really nice profile pic !!!!!
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Dec 31, 2013 1:41 AM GMT
    This is really amazing news!
    Too bad the US is so far behind... I wonder if it has anything to do with Republican politicians continuing to pretend that global warming doesn't even exist? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 31, 2013 1:49 AM GMT
    KissTheSky saidThis is really amazing news!
    Too bad the US is so far behind... I wonder if it has anything to do with Republican politicians continuing to pretend that global warming doesn't even exist? icon_rolleyes.gif



    Dunno. Ask Riddler or Freedomisfree. icon_neutral.gif
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Dec 31, 2013 1:51 AM GMT
    100% renewable electricity is a great achievement. But Scotland will still be burning fossil fuels for heating buildings and powering vehicles. So there's plenty of room for more progress, even for Scotland @ 100% renewable electric.

    Rather than wait for your state government to go 100% renewable, it's possible for you to make your own home or business 100% renewable electric.

    In the US if you have a detached single family home, there are companies offering packages to put solar electric on your roof where the financing costs equal your current monthly electric bill. You have no up front costs. It's arranged so that even if you sell the property, the solar system runs with the deed and the new owner will assume the payments. If you go this route, it's a good idea to assess your roof before you put the PV panels up, so your roof doesn't wear out before the solar panels do. These are grid-tied systems, so you don't have to manage batteries. You draw from the grid when your output is less than your consumption, and you make it up at other times of the day when your electric production exceeds your consumption.

    If you're in a condo or rental situation, many utility companies offer the ability to buy a solar panel on a project they are installing. Then you get the benefit of the projected electric that the solar panel(s) produces with no maintenance or installation at your home. The panels produce for about 50 years and can be willed to someone else upon your death.

    Finally, many utilities offer a renewable program, where you commit to a surcharge on kilowatt hours you use by buying blocks of renewable energy. The utility company aggregates these funds together with other customers to buy wind and solar power from large projects.

    So there is a lot that an individual can do to steer energy use at home toward renewable.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Dec 31, 2013 2:02 AM GMT
    Camfer, can you locate some links to these panel/coop outfits?
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Dec 31, 2013 2:07 AM GMT
    LJay saidCamfer, can you locate some links to these panel/coop outfits?


    Best ways to proceed are to call your electric company or a solar installer in your area. I could post for my town but that won't be any help to anyone else on here.
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Dec 31, 2013 5:32 AM GMT
    Energy use of any sort affects the environment, not necessarily badly, but in terms of the co2 emissions I'd say almost 100% badly.

    I know I don't have any children, but I have nieces, and you would think that when there are options that are better for the future, we would generally take the better option for the future.

    Carbon based energy is always going to be a finite resource, unless you intend society to revert to coal fired trains and wood burning power stations in the future. Oil is ultimately necessary for flight so let's not waste it on unnecessary energy production?

    I see current technology offering us solar, hydroelectric, tidal and wind power. Whilst we have power stations producing power at the wrong times of the day, hydroelectric power seems a good start, as it can store waste energy (what an appalling statement) in reservoirs by pumping water up hill.

    The problem with a change from carbon to renewable energy is that it affects the economy in that technology takes power (literal and abstract) from oil countries and companies and their owners and gives it to solar/tidale etc countries etc.

    Exxon etc are the Luddites of the 21st century, but we have to acknowledge the effective destruction of value inherent in this change. Someone owns those companies, it might be a case of, we can resolve the issues of oil countries losing their cash flow (yet none of them seem particularly good places) but also the loss of value of companies like Exxon or BP, the latter of which is certainly a significant part of the UK economy and our pension funds.

    I hope by the time I'm going, renewable energy has come of age, and we don't still have these arguments.
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    Dec 31, 2013 5:42 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    KissTheSky saidThis is really amazing news!
    Too bad the US is so far behind... I wonder if it has anything to do with Republican politicians continuing to pretend that global warming doesn't even exist? icon_rolleyes.gif



    Dunno. Ask Riddler or Freedomisfree. icon_neutral.gif


    Maybe global cooling.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2013 5:52 AM GMT
    Solar isn't the end-all solution to our energy problems.

    I added two photo-voltaic systems to my house in 2001, at the peak of the fake California energy crisis. Despite the morning "marine layer" cloud cover, the current owner enjoys $10 monthly electric bills. These were "grid-tie" systems that did not have large batteries. DC electricity was converted to 220v/AC and fed into the breaker box. During the day, any power not used was fed back into the grid and the meter ran backwards.

    Americans argue against windmills for killing birds or moving shadows from the blades triggering epileptic episodes for their neighbors. California had to pass state laws forbidding homeowner associations from interfering these kinds of changes to the exterior of a home.

    Batteries lose up to 30% of the energy used to charge them due to the chemistry. Few homeowners are able to add panels to compensate for that.

    I am very guilty of going for the solar solution before realizing the "circus-tent" windows and insulation on the house was a cheaper upgrade. Extra insulation, especially in the ceiling of the west-facing garage(where accumulated solar heat invaded the master bedroom above it...) made a huge difference.

    In the suburbs of Los Angeles, our power utility gives us online resources to monitor hourly consumption over the past three months or so. I can tell when I went to work and left my desktop PC running. We waste power and we don't even know it.

  • R_Prototype

    Posts: 35

    Dec 31, 2013 8:16 AM GMT
    Definatly a lesson for fellow Nations....! Hopefully India do the same!
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    Dec 31, 2013 9:08 AM GMT
    RobertF64 saidSolar isn't the end-all solution to our energy problems.

    I added two photo-voltaic systems to my house in 2001, at the peak of the fake California energy crisis. Despite the morning "marine layer" cloud cover, the current owner enjoys $10 monthly electric bills. These were "grid-tie" systems that did not have large batteries. DC electricity was converted to 220v/AC and fed into the breaker box. During the day, any power not used was fed back into the grid and the meter ran backwards.

    Americans argue against windmills for killing birds or moving shadows from the blades triggering epileptic episodes for their neighbors. California had to pass state laws forbidding homeowner associations from interfering these kinds of changes to the exterior of a home.

    Batteries lose up to 30% of the energy used to charge them due to the chemistry. Few homeowners are able to add panels to compensate for that.

    I am very guilty of going for the solar solution before realizing the "circus-tent" windows and insulation on the house was a cheaper upgrade. Extra insulation, especially in the ceiling of the west-facing garage(where accumulated solar heat invaded the master bedroom above it...) made a huge difference.

    In the suburbs of Los Angeles, our power utility gives us online resources to monitor hourly consumption over the past three months or so. I can tell when I went to work and left my desktop PC running. We waste power and we don't even know it.



    "circus-tent" windows"

    what is this?

    I'm almost Nazi like in my zeal not to waste. I have plenty of time to plan for the next time I build and I'm going to do everything I can to have the grid for emergency use only and be off as much as I can.
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    Dec 31, 2013 5:17 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    RobertF64 saidSolar isn't the end-all solution to our energy problems.


    "circus-tent" windows"

    what is this?

    I'm almost Nazi like in my zeal not to waste. I have plenty of time to plan for the next time I build and I'm going to do everything I can to have the grid for emergency use only and be off as much as I can.



    When this San Diego house was built in 1998, I struggled to understand why the windows were small (more like portals than views of the outside world.) The crap aluminum-frame windows did almost nothing to block solar heat loading in a west-facing bedroom.

    Then summer came. Can't sleep on a hot mattress. Upgrading to the latest 12-Seer Trane multispeed HVAC technology plus solar on the roof didn't.

    Upgraded to UV-block vinyl frame windows and solved the problem.

    I like my current apartment. But, I have "blue tape" across air gaps around the sliding patio door to minimize air leakage as temps drop into the 40's at night in winter (an hour east of Los Angeles).

    The apartment I paid out the ass for up in Seattle had a fireplace. But, I quickly found that the fireplace created negative air pressure near the bedrooms, drawing cold air in from outside, around the entry door frame and windows.

    Weatherstripping and poor window/door quality is a common challenge for me, hence the "circus tent" analogy. However, buildup of humidity promotes mold growth. An air-tight house just isn't a good idea.

    10 years ago, a refrigerator with the water/ice dispenser on the door consumed 1,600 watt hours, or a third of energy consumed by the entire house. Then, there's an inefficient laundry system and the older plasma TVs consuming as much energy as a hair dryer.

    Thanks to the "energy star" program, advancements in electronics, and consumer awareness, things are improving. But, we still have a ways to go and a few million old refrigerators to remove from garages.


    A good thing about solar panels is they block sunlight from shortening the life of the roof material and lower attic temps. But, all that has to be removed and replaced when the roofing is replaced. More solar is a good thing. But, some areas have cloudy days.
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    Dec 31, 2013 5:26 PM GMT
    Probably funded by English taxpayers.
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    Dec 31, 2013 5:38 PM GMT
    The Scottish can paved the way for the rest of the world when it comes to energy consumption. Didn't they also recently legalized gay marriage? Scotland seems more & more habitable right now.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 31, 2013 6:45 PM GMT
    FTTL11 saidProbably funded by English taxpayers.

    I have no idea if this is true, but why doesn't England go green? We all share the same air, anyway. It's time to care more about clean air than being rich. Money can't buy anyone a new home on a clean planet. If this one gets spoiled we're all done for. There are no other inhabitable planets we can get to.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2013 7:09 PM GMT
    RobertF64 said
    freedomisntfree said
    RobertF64 saidSolar isn't the end-all solution to our energy problems.


    "circus-tent" windows"

    what is this?

    I'm almost Nazi like in my zeal not to waste. I have plenty of time to plan for the next time I build and I'm going to do everything I can to have the grid for emergency use only and be off as much as I can.



    When this San Diego house was built in 1998, I struggled to understand why the windows were small (more like portals than views of the outside world.) The crap aluminum-frame windows did almost nothing to block solar heat loading in a west-facing bedroom.

    Then summer came. Can't sleep on a hot mattress. Upgrading to the latest 12-Seer Trane multispeed HVAC technology plus solar on the roof didn't.

    Upgraded to UV-block vinyl frame windows and solved the problem.

    I like my current apartment. But, I have "blue tape" across air gaps around the sliding patio door to minimize air leakage as temps drop into the 40's at night in winter (an hour east of Los Angeles).

    The apartment I paid out the ass for up in Seattle had a fireplace. But, I quickly found that the fireplace created negative air pressure near the bedrooms, drawing cold air in from outside, around the entry door frame and windows.

    Weatherstripping and poor window/door quality is a common challenge for me, hence the "circus tent" analogy. However, buildup of humidity promotes mold growth. An air-tight house just isn't a good idea.

    10 years ago, a refrigerator with the water/ice dispenser on the door consumed 1,600 watt hours, or a third of energy consumed by the entire house. Then, there's an inefficient laundry system and the older plasma TVs consuming as much energy as a hair dryer.

    Thanks to the "energy star" program, advancements in electronics, and consumer awareness, things are improving. But, we still have a ways to go and a few million old refrigerators to remove from garages.


    A good thing about solar panels is they block sunlight from shortening the life of the roof material and lower attic temps. But, all that has to be removed and replaced when the roofing is replaced. More solar is a good thing. But, some areas have cloudy days.


    "hence the "circus tent" analogy"

    Okay, makes sense now.

    I've gone to the national Green Build LEED conventions a few times and get involved a bit because of my business (commercial real estate), but due to new construction financing still so difficult to get, I've been doing much more leasing. I was getting a little rusty on the some of the terms so didn't know what this was.
  • PolitiMAC

    Posts: 728

    Dec 31, 2013 11:17 PM GMT
    Just wait and see how much money they waste, then go crying back to England to fix it.

    Renewable energy technology as of this moment is far too expensive and does NOTHING of any substance.

    Now, of course, many here will see me as some Neanderthal who is deluding myself in the face of perfect and unopposed evidence, but trust me, I've seen it all, on BOTH sides of the argument.

    Here in Australia, our previous Left wing Socialist government were all about 'CO2 Emissions' like they were the devil. They put their policy in, changed NOTHING of the temperature. Oh, sorry, I mean, 0.001% of carbon emissions.

    But really. That's the whole fallacy of it all. All the zealots of the Earth warming to destruction seem to equate a vital gas to Earth will deadly warming. Well, many countries have foolishly and wastefully spent trillions to lower carbon dioxide, and the global temperature has changed by NOTHING. ZIP.

    In fact, Antarctica has trapped a Warmist ship in ICE. Yeah, REALLY hot. Ice REALLY melting away. You see how things like this aren't reported by Lefties? Because it doesn't suit their crusade to accomplish...something.

    And of course, I have to correct the assumption that non-Leftist people, such as Republicans, other conservatives and Libertarians, such as myself, are simply stupid people that will not understand the wisdom of the Leftist intelligentsia. KissTheSky, among others, people don't refute the existence of climate change. We never did. If some have, then they are fools. The problem is that we do not agree that humans are warming the planet to destruction, nor do we think that carbon emissions are actually doing that much, as we can see countries failing with their price-on-carbon schemes.

    Scotland will revise its goal. It is utterly unattainable, uneconomic, stupid and too expensive. You wait and see. They'll go the way of Japan, who said they were going to lower carbon emissions by 25% to lower than 4%.
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    Jan 01, 2014 12:31 AM GMT
    Not sure if this is still true but in the '80s the London subway (the "Tube") was faster, cleaner and more efficient than NYC's subway. Of course it was a tenth the size and closed at midnight. You can't compare Arizona, a state unlivable without air conditioning and subject to federal regulations, to Scotland.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jan 02, 2014 2:00 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidNot sure if this is still true but in the '80s the London subway (the "Tube") was faster, cleaner and more efficient than NYC's subway. Of course it was a tenth the size and closed at midnight. You can't compare Arizona, a state unlivable without air conditioning and subject to federal regulations, to Scotland.


    No, but Arizona has access to renewable energy sources not available in Scotland.
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jan 02, 2014 9:30 AM GMT
    DCEric said
    eagermuscle saidNot sure if this is still true but in the '80s the London subway (the "Tube") was faster, cleaner and more efficient than NYC's subway. Of course it was a tenth the size and closed at midnight. You can't compare Arizona, a state unlivable without air conditioning and subject to federal regulations, to Scotland.


    No, but Arizona has access to renewable energy sources not available in Scotland.


    Scotland has renewable energy sources not available to Arizona - tidal & wave. I doubt if they'll be ready by 2020.
    It's also wet, they already have a high percentage of hydro-electric power, and windy. Not very good for solar power though.

    Going back to the "Tube" comments, yes it still closes for a few hours every night (but soon going 24 hours at weekends) to allow the fluffers (they had that name first) to do their jobs.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3529

    Jan 02, 2014 12:42 PM GMT
    PolitiNerd saidwarming. Well, many countries have foolishly and wastefully spent trillions to lower carbon dioxide, and the global temperature has changed by NOTHING. - lower than 4%.


    They have spent nowhere near this amount, if they had we would have a lot more projects.
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    Jan 02, 2014 2:44 PM GMT
    Apparition said
    PolitiNerd saidwarming. Well, many countries have foolishly and wastefully spent trillions to lower carbon dioxide, and the global temperature has changed by NOTHING. - lower than 4%.


    They have spent nowhere near this amount, if they had we would have a lot more projects.


    Trillions (well, at least one) would in fact be accurate:
    http://www.unep.org/pdf/GTR-UNEP-FS-BNEF2.pdf