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Scotland’s Wind Energy Output Can Power Over 2M Homes

Scotland's Wind Energy Output Can Power Over 2M Homes; Differing Perspectives On What May or May Not Reduce Emissions

Scottish wind energy use has elicited positive reactions from environmentalists. Scotland has made great strides in securing a sizable chunk of its electricity requirements from wind power as well as other clean renewable sources.

This was noted by WWF Scotland director Lang Banks. Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization, just tweeted, “Scotland’s wind turbines generated more electricity than the country used for a record 4 days in a row.” Posting the same thing, Banks said that it was truly “amazing.”

Banks had noted a couple of months ago that the surge in output from Scotland’s wind turbines was accounted for by increased capacity as well as stronger winds. Hence, the supplied power became equivalent to electricity that could power over two million households. For most, that signified avoiding over a million tons of carbon emissions each month.

That should be good news, except that certain quarters have felt incredulous. Some have asked point blank if indeed the European country’s energy policies are sustainable for children and the planet, enough for other countries to emulate.

Scottish Conservatives have perspectives that run counter to those held by the Scottish Government, which overturned several windfarm applications rejected by local authorities. Scottish Conservative energy spokesman noted  that the Scottish National Party’s “obsession with onshore wind energy is damaging Scotland’s countryside and ruining local democracy.” Whether Scotland’s energy policy is misguided or fit for the challenges of its future should be ascertained by its key decision-makers.

Point to Ponder

It can also be noted that a scientific study published in 2012 in the journal Nature revealed that constructing large-scale wind farms on peatlands “will probably not reduce emissions, unlike those on mineral soils.” Researchers from the UK’s University of Aberdeen had previous work that cited how most peatland sites could save on net emissions if peat is not drained and if sites are restored after construction.

Tropical peatlands serve as home to a number of endangered species. Interestingly, Scotland is among the countries that have developed national peat strategies.

Set Targets for the Coming Years

Through the years, Scotland’s energy policies and efforts to reduce carbon emissions have been reinforced. In mid-2009, The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Delivery Plan explicitly stated four ‘transformational
outcomes’ that should happen. By 2030, emissions from electricity generation should be greatly reduced through the use of renewable energy, and fossil fuels combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

By 2050, there should be a great reduction in emissions from the heating and cooling of buildings, by reducing
demand, improving energy efficiency and making more use of renewable or low-carbon heating. By 2050, there should virtually be no emissions from road transport.

Much progress is expected to be made by 2030 when electric vehicles wend their way into the marketplace. Scotland should also find better use of land to reduce emissions from agriculture, protect carbon in soils and increase tree planting.

It was in 2010 when the Scottish Government proposed annual emissions targets to the Scottish Parliament for the period leading up to 2022. The Scottish Parliament, however, rejected the initial proposals and set more demanding
annual targets. By September 2011, the Scottish Government proposed annual targets for 2023–27, which the Scottish Parliament approved unchanged.

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