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SMH.com: Scotland Aims for 100% Renewable Energy by 2020


Ellis

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Scotland has set a goal of meeting half its electricity demand from renewable sources by 2015, after reaching 35 percent last year, according to Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister.

The target is an interim step in Scotland's effort to get all of its power from clean sources by 2020, after beating its 2011 goal of 31 percent, according to data from the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Setting the mid-stage target will help provide energy security, environmental sustainability and employment opportunities, Salmond said today in an e-mailed statement.

“ Scotland's renewable energy production offsets our carbon emissions by 15 percent -- the equivalent of taking around 3.5 million cars off the roads,” Salmond said. “In total, 11,000 people are now employed in the renewable-energy sector.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/scotland-aims-for-100-renewable-energy-by-2020-20121031-28jbv.html#ixzz2B4lu4mpF

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Something tells me we'll be the last country on the planet to achieve this. Too much corporate profits at stake and too many lobbyists.

We may not have the political will but we do have the economic muscle to make things happen.

Biggest advantage of fossil fuels is portability and on-demand availability. Currently, electricity has to be produced as it is consumed. This really presents problems for alt energy which cannot be produced reliably. If we figure out an economic way to store electricity, market forces will get more and more behind alt energy.

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Something tells me we'll be the last country on the planet to achieve this. Too much corporate profits at stake and too many lobbyists.

I suspect your prediction is right, but I'll point out that there could be at least one other force, pushing in that direction.

As I understand it, the US has a lower level of cell phone coverage that a lot of third-world countries. But it's not because of some nefarious reason.

It's because we already have the best land-line phone system in the world. And that system has already been installed, and the money's already been spent.

Cellular is cheaper than running new copper to a new country. But new cellular has trouble competing against copper that's already been installed, and it's already working.

I could see the same thing with power. The solar/wind/whatever option has to include the cost of constructing the new technology, but the coal-fired plant down the road has already spent that money.

---------- Post added November-2nd-2012 at 11:38 AM ----------

We may not have the political will but we do have the economic muscle to make things happen.

Biggest advantage of fossil fuels is portability and on-demand availability. Currently, electricity has to be produced as it is consumed. This really presents problems for alt energy which cannot be produced reliably. If we figure out an economic way to store electricity, market forces will get more and more behind alt energy.

'Course, we could put the solar power site in orbit, where the sunshine is a whole lot more reliable. :)

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I suspect your prediction is right, but I'll point out that there could be at least one other force, pushing in that direction.

As I understand it, the US has a lower level of cell phone coverage that a lot of third-world countries. But it's not because of some nefarious reason.

It's because we already have the best land-line phone system in the world. And that system has already been installed, and the money's already been spent.

Cellular is cheaper than running new copper to a new country. But new cellular has trouble competing against copper that's already been installed, and it's already working.

I could see the same thing with power. The solar/wind/whatever option has to include the cost of constructing the new technology, but the coal-fired plant down the road has already spent that money.

---------- Post added November-2nd-2012 at 11:38 AM ----------

'Course, we could put the solar power site in orbit, where the sunshine is a whole lot more reliable. :)

Did you see that thing in the latest issue of Nat Geo?! It was amazing! I'll try to dig it up :)

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We need to encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in solar/wind/water power. All new construction should have alternative energy built in, and for new construction, it cost the same as conventional energy, electric/natural gas etc. The problem is that utilities, which are profit generating entities, will lose their monthly stipend from a large number of people and their profits will go down. We'll still need the grid, but the emphasis now is on the huge wind/solar farms to power the grid and that's an expensive proposition.

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