One recent non-political story trending on social media is Scotland’s unprecedented green energy performance. In March 2017, 136% of Scotland’s 3.3 million household needs were provided by wind-turbines alone. Yes, without the use of fossil fuels Scotland had an energy surplus: “Scottish Turbines provided 1.2 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid in March, an increase of 81 per cent compared to the same month last year.” It’s March production generated 24% of the UK’s total renewable electricity.
This accomplishment did not just stop with homes. 58% of the country’s electrical needs were met by their turbines alone. This is not the first month in 2017 Scotland achieved headlines for their wind energy performance. For four consecutive days in January the country’s wind turbines generated more electricity than required and this past Christmas Eve they peaked at 74,000 Megawatt-hours (enough electricity for 6.09 million homes).
Not only are Scotland’s turbines effective, they’re proving to be profitable. Rather than relying on outdated and dangerous energy like coal, BT Telecom has struck a $230 million deal with a wind farm. The company said 13 turbines “in the north of Scotland were providing the business with 100 gigawatt hours of renewable energy annually.”
Despite its impressive performances with wind, Scotland utilizes hydro, tidal, solar, and traditional fossil fuels. It would be foolish for a country to solely rely on a single energy resource. Not only does diversifying the energy sector generate more efficient energy collection and distribution, but it also bolsters job creation and reduces dependency on foreign entities.
China announced in January a plan to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($363 billion) to create 13 million jobs in hydro, wind, solar, and nuclear power. This investment will improve its GDP, put more of its citizens to work in growing industries, and improve the overall quality of life for households by reducing pollution.
The future of energy is green. Renewable resources are becoming more affordable and the jobs markets are increasing dramatically. Even under a Trump economy western states like Nevada and Arizona are moving towards clean energy as solar and wind cost per megawatt-hour become more affordable than gas and even coal. Even without government subsidies renewables are on their way to becoming the cheapest form of power in the market. We should not be fighting progress but rather focus on winning the race for sustainable energy and secure a position as a world power.
Views expressed are the opinions of Jeffrey Goldfarb and the Financial Advisors at Goldfarb Financial and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete.