Renewable Energy covers 100% of new demand in China

China covered all its new energy demand with renewable energy in 2015 – and there was still plenty left to spare

China is drawing evermore power from renewable energy. Greenpeace says the country's growth in wind and solar energy exceeded new electricity demand. Ningxia Wind Farm in northern China
China is drawing evermore power from renewable energy. Greenpeace says the country’s growth in wind and solar energy exceeded new electricity demand. Ningxia Wind Farm in northern China. Image credit Lang Rover Our Planet / Flickr

China installed half of the world’s new solar and wind capacity last year.

But the Chinese aren’t just beefing up their renewable capacity, they’re also cutting down on coal. The new clean energy power plants along with a shift away from heavy industry, mean that coal use in China has dropped over the last three years… Continue reading Renewable Energy covers 100% of new demand in China

Scotland Wind Power: 106% Electricity Demand from Wind

by John Brian Shannon

Last Sunday, in the midst of gale force winds, wind farms generated 106% of Scotland’s electricity demand. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time.

On many other occasions Scotland produces prodigious amounts of electricity via wind power and with more wind turbines being installed every year we should expect this to become a normal occurrence.

“Turbines spread across the land and in the ocean surrounding Scotland provided 39,545 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid on Sunday while the country’s total power consumption for homes, business and industry was 37,202 MWh.

Scotland’s goal of generating 50% of their annual electricity from renewables is on pace to happen a full year early. Scotland also has a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2020, but it might only get to 87% per some reports. Still – 87% over the course of a year is a powerful value and will probably mean 100% will arrive before 2025.” — Electrek

Both hydro-electric dams and wind turbines in Scotland rely on electricity storage in the form of pumped storage — water pumped back up the hill into the reservoir, allowing that energy to be harvested again.

Scotland wind power Strathdearn pumped-storage hydro scheme. Image courtesy of Scottish Scientist.
Scotland wind power Strathdearn pumped-storage hydro scheme. Image courtesy of Scottish Scientist.

During the nighttime, wind flow across both ocean and land are more constant than during the daylight hours. Conveniently, this is also when electrical demand is lower, allowing surplus electricity during those hours to pump the water back into the reservoir and ready for the sudden demand spike at 7:00am the next morning.

More pumped storage solutions are planned for Scotland as it’s convenient and (especially over the long term) affordable.

Read about Scottish plans to increase pumped storage

More offshore and onshore wind farms, more pumped storage and more hydro-electric dams means that Scotland may reach it’s goal of 50% renewable energy one year early, while the larger goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020 could take up to 2025 to achieve due to regulatory issues.

Still, that’s an amazing accomplishment by any standard. Hats off to Scotland!

Wind Turbines Save the Galápagos Islands

The Wind Turbines Saving the Galápagos Islands

Charles Darwin made the Galápagos Islands synonymous with the idea of change as a means of survival. In the 19th century, the scientist marveled at how similar endemic finches, mockingbirds and giant tortoises across the 19-island archipelago were uniquely adapted to individual islands and later theorized that this ability to adapt determines whether a species will survive long term.

Between 2007 and 2015, three 157-foot wind turbines have supplied, on average, 30 percent of the electricity consumed on San Cristóbal, replacing 2.3 million gallons of diesel fuel and avoiding 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions…

Wind Turbines in the Galápagos Islands
Responding to the call for the introduction of renewable-based energy on the Galapagos Islands, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) developed and implemented Ecuador’s first large-scale wind project on the Island of San Cristóbal and one of the largest wind-diesel hybrid systems in the world. The 2.4 MW wind park features three wind turbines, each generating 800 kW to provide approximately one-third of the island’s annual electricity needs. The wind park is complemented by two 6 kW photovoltaic systems which have produced 136,000 kWh of electricity. The grid-connected system has been operated by EOLIC S.A., the Galapagos Wind Company, since 2007. Image and caption courtesy of GlobalElectricity.org

Continue reading Wind Turbines Save the Galápagos Islands

Scotland Powers 960,000 Homes via Wind Power


According to a report from the Scottish Government
wind farms generated record amounts of power in the first quarter of 2015.

The same report confirms record levels of renewable energy generation were achieved in the country throughout 2014, with almost half of all electricity demand met via renewable energy generators.

Ardrossan, Scotland wind farm
Wind generated record amounts of power in Q1 of 2015. Statistics also confirm 50% of all demand was met via renewable energy in 2014. Ardrossan, Scotland wind farm image courtesy of Vincent van Zeijst – Own work, CC BY 3.0.


Wind Power
in Scotland

Wind power is Scotland’s fastest growing renewable energy technology, with 5328 MW of installed capacity as of March 2015. This includes 5131 MW of onshore wind and 197 MW of offshore wind.

There is further potential for expansion, especially offshore given the high average wind speeds, and a number of large offshore wind farms are planned.

The Scottish Government has a target of generating 50% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy by 2015, and 100% by 2020, which was raised from 50% in September 2010.

The majority of this new energy capacity will come from wind power. — Wikipedia

If Scotland meets it’s planned target of 100% renewable energy generation in 2020, it will join a growing list of foresighted nations that are powered by clean energy.

General Motors Mexico Auto Assembly Plant Powered by the Wind

General Motors — 34MW Wind Power Project Supports 2020 Renewables Goal

General Motors in Mexico: The addition of 34 megawatts (MW) of wind power allows GM to achieve its corporate renewable energy goal four years early.

General Motors is currently procuring wind to power its manufacturing operations, enabling one of its Mexico facilities’ electricity needs to be run mostly on renewable energy. The addition of 34 megawatts (MW) of wind power allows GM to achieve its corporate renewable energy goal four years early, according to news from General Motors. Construction… Continue reading General Motors Mexico Auto Assembly Plant Powered by the Wind