Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scotland plans on 50% renewable fuel by 2020

In an ambitious plan to recover lost jobs and reduce oil energy dependence, Scotland is actively pursing plans to harness an abundant natural resource...the wind...as a primary energy source.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Scottish representatives were at a wind power conference in Chicago last week, seeking suppliers and interest for large off-shore wind power rigs. The hope is the move will boost employment and help Scotland gain access to low-impact power sources.

According to Wikipedia,

Wind power in Scotland is an area of considerable activity, with 1550 MW of installed capacity as at October 2008.[1] Wind power is the fastest growing of the renewable energy technologies in Scotland and the world's largest wind turbine generator (5 MW) is currently undergoing testing in the North Sea, 15 miles off the east coast. There are numerous large wind farms as well as a number, both planned and operating, which are in community ownership. The siting of turbines is sometimes an issue, but surveys have shown high levels of community acceptance for wind power in Scotland. There is further potential for expansion, especially offshore, given the high average wind speeds.

And a 2005 map of Scotland's energy plans shows over 250 proposed wind power sites nationwide.

I can't help but wonder why the U.S. hasn't followed suit for our own power needs. I know some companies out there, like Green Energy Prod, are offering wind turbine systems, but I am not seeing them in action. Any ideas on how we can encourage that same type of innovation here?