Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “Scotland”

25 GW Offshore Wind for Scotland


Spectacular offshore wind breakthrough in Scotland. The original target was 10 GW, but the auction resulted in almost 25 GW worth of new capacity, all around Scotland, with a large share for floating wind. 17 bids have been selected from a grand total of 74. The Scottish treasury gained £700 million from this exercise, which in 2022 can be called modest.


Tidal Energy from the Shetlands

German language video

In the Shetland Islands, the extraction of oil and gas has traditionally been one of the most important sources of income and one of the most important employers. Therefore the “carbon footprint” of the islands is three times as high as in the rest of Great Britain. Last year, however, the Shetlanders declared a climate crisis and they are focusing on renewable energies. There are even the first filling stations where electrical energy is obtained directly and exclusively from the tidal range.

Scotland #1 EU Renewable Energy Country


OK. Scotland isn’t an EU-country anymore, but in heart it is, and the chances are good that it will manage to escape from the economic black hole that is the UK, like the Irish managed to do, 100 years ago, only to thrive within the EU.

And if it does return to the European family of nations, where it belongs, it will turn out that Scotland will be the first renewable energy country within the European Union. In 2020, the Highlands produced no less than 97% of its electricity from renewable sources and 35% renewable primary energy. Only Norway and Iceland do better in Europe.

[] – Scotland in top three renewable generators across Europe
[] – Renewables met 97% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2020

Lunar Energy – Orbital O2

The Orbital O2 is a floating 2MW tidal turbine that began generating power for the UK grid in July 2021. It is currently the most powerful tidal turbine in the world and is anchored in the Fall of Warness off Eday, Orkney Islands. It consists of a floating platform supporting 2 submersed nacelles rated 1MW each. The turbines are bi-directional, producing on both a rising and falling tide. With a 2MW output, it can produce enough electricity for 2000 homes per year.

[] – The world’s most powerful tidal turbine
[] – Orbital O2
[deepresource] – Orbital O2 – World’s Largest Tidal Turbine Launched

Scotland Could Become World Leader Floating Offshore Wind

Scotland could become the world’s premier address for floating wind. It doesn’t have shallow waters like Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and England have, but what seems to be a disadvantage at first sight, doesn’t necessarily need to be one. Scotland is the windiest country in Europe, that helps. And a huge monopile can be replaced by three cylinder-shaped floaters, that don’t tie that much more steel resources.

The point to make is that around the world, there is so much more deep than shallow water, even near the coast (think Japan, Norway, US, China, Singapore and many other places), that mastering this floating wind technology opens up a huge range of new green business opportunities. Additionally, you won’t need an expensive monopile installer ship; the installation can be assembled onshore and simply towed to its final destination.

Oil and gas major Shell and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power said on Friday they had joined forces to bid to develop large-scale floating wind farms off the coast of Scotland.

The companies said they had submitted proposals for the potential projects as part of Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round, called ScotWind, which closed for submissions on Friday…

Other energy companies and investors have signalled interest in the leasing round, including France’s TotalEnergies, Macquarie Group’s Green Investment Group and Orsted.

Scotland could very well follow the example of Ireland of 100 years ago and manage to become independent of economic black hole Brexit Britain and be just as prosperous as their Celtic brothers on the other side of The North Channel. Floating wind could be a marvelous export item for a reborn nation with world-wide recognized razor-sharp identity, that was independent since the days of Romans until 1707 and become a member again of the European family of nations.

[] – Shell, Scottish Power to bid in Scottish offshore wind leasing round
[] – The frontier between fixed and floating foundations in offshore wind
[] – Energy giants Shell and Iberdrola ally for floating wind bid off Scotland

In the ScotWind Leasing Round, around 50% of the Draft Plan Option (DPO) areas are located in “deep water zones”, which have water depths greater than 50 metres… for water depths greater than 60 meters, fixed-bottom offshore wind foundations become uneconomic, even though a recent study suggests this frontier might be 90 m. Others believe that the transition between fixed to floating foundations occurs in a zone between 40 to 60 m…

[deepresource] – Breakdown Costs Offshore Windfarm

Read more…

Orbital O2 – World’s Largest Tidal Turbine Launched

The tide is turning on tidal energy. On April 22, the Orbital O2 was launched near the Orkney Islands, north of mainland Scotland. After solar energy, the way is now cleared for lunar energy. Tidal power already existed in harnessed form, where tidal water is captured behind doors at high tide and gradually released before the next tide. The largest examples of that can be found in Korea’s Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant or the Rance Tidal Power Station in France.

The Orbital O2 is a 2 MW torpedo-like structure, fixed to an anchor in waters with steady strong currents. With water having a density of 800 times that of air, the rotor can be significantly smaller than with wind turbines. And since it floats, no huge monopile is required either, just a chain. These machines can be used at water depths, where no monopile-based wind power is possible.

[] – Orbital launches O2, the “most powerful tidal turbine in the world”

Read more…

“Scotland Can Provide 25% of EU’s Renewable Energy”


Most Scottish newspapers are unionist and oppose Scottish independence. But even they have to operate in an environment, rife with secessionism, that thanks to the economic disaster that is Brexit (most of all for the UK), got a new lease of life, after the failed independence bid of 2014. So even “The Scotsman” occasionally has to give voice to those who promote secession and within the current Scottish political context that is the SNP and the Greens.

The English love to express a certain dédain for the economic prospects of an independent Scotland, but the reality is that within the EU, Scotland can be expected to thrive, even more than Ireland has done, and they are currently one of the richest per capita countries in Europe. Not bad for a country, once known for “too much whiskey and too few potatoes”. Why is Ireland so rich and attractive?

1. it is a loyal EU member
2. the population speaks English (sort of)

That makes it attractive to foreign investors from all around the world, not just from the US. The point to make is that the same conditions apply to Scotland as well. There is sufficient reason to assume that Scotland could become another “Celtic Tiger”. Certainly if you realize this:

Scotland has the potential to provide 25% of Europe’s renewable energy

Say what?!

According to an op-ed by Lorna Slater, a Scottish politician for the Greens Party, does Scotland have the potential to become for Europe a renewable energy Saudi-Arabia (our words). With 65/km2, Scotland is sparsely populated. In the waters of Scotland there is a lot of potential for tidal energy, the field of Lorna Slater. And then there is on- and offshore wind. Renewable energy could be a major export product into continental European markets and a guarantee for future Scottish wealth.

[] – Renewables can power economy of an independent Scotland

P.S. What Lorna Slater failed to mention is that, apart from renewable energy generation, Scotland also has great potential for renewable energy storage, far greater than required for domestic needs:

[deepresource] – World-Record Pumped-Hydro Storage for Scotland?
[deepresource] – Great Potential for Pumped Hydro in Scotland

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