Following news that Scotland are half way to achieving their 2020 climate target, with a 20% drop in carbon emissions since 1990, the announcement of a major expansion to the Whitelee wind farm south of Glasgow provides a reaffirmation of the importance of onshore wind power to Scotland’ s development.
In 2008, Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor began producing electricity. Currently, the 140 turbines in situ are capable of providing enough energy to power 180,000 homes. With the planned expansion, the power generation of the site will increase from 322MW to a staggering 539MW – enough to power 300,000 homes.
World leading small and domestic turbine manufacturers Gaia-Wind view this development as a highly positive step toward the consolidation and continued progress of the Scottish contribution to a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A Gaia-Wind spokesperson, commenting on Scotland’s latest commitment to renewable energy said that:
“Any onshore wind developments are good news, and with the recent milestone reached in the Scottish climate change agenda, the extension at Whitelee is a further indication of the dedication of the Scottish authorities to producing renewable energy through wind power for a greater proportion of the population.”
Whilst Whitelee exists in its present state as the largest onshore wind farm in Europe, the proposed expansion will elevate the site to one of the largest in the world. Commenting on the monumental nature of the project, UK Director of ScottishPower Renewables, Simon Christian, explained that:
“By itself at 217MW (the expected increase in power generation), the extension would be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the UK, so we are starting another major construction project in Scotland.”
This major project is the latest instance of Scotland’s rigorous and innovatory approach to renewable energy production.
With almost 25% of Scotland’s electricity demand supplied by renewables throughout 2008, it is evident that the Scottish renewable energy sector is playing a leading role in the campaign to reduce emissions. A significant degree of investment from government, businesses, the industry and individual investors has enabled the delivery of vastly reduced carbon emission levels.
Continued investment is a highly significant factor in the field of renewable energy. A spokesperson from Gaia-Wind has in fact commented on the need for “governmental stability in policy making for the continued investment in wind power, and the renewables sector in general.”