Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Scotland also has plans for car parks that charge electric vehicles, having called for the end of gasoline-driven cars by 2032," Cole writes. (Photo: David Clarke/Flickr/cc)

75% of Scotland's Electricity Now Green; All Cars Electric by 2032

People who talk about our finding future solutions to the climate emergency are just out of date. The solutions exist, it is just a matter of implementing them, of political will.

Juan Cole

 by Informed Comment

Scotland added another 6% of green energy in 2018, so that nearly 75% of its annual gross electricity consumption came from renewables, chiefly wind, solar and hydro. Scotland’s population is 5.4 million.

The increase in green energy came mainly from new offshore wind.

New offshore wind also allowed the UK to get 33% of its electricity from renewables in 2018. Although the UK is far behind Scotland in the green energy transition, it is nearly 12 times more populous, at 66 million, and so for it to get fully a third of its electricity from green sources is in real numbers a much bigger deal. British carbon emissions fell 3% last year.

Scotland and the UK have further big plans for new floating offshore wind turbines, a technology pioneered off the coast of Scotland by Shell.

Britain as a whole wants to get 30% of its electricity from wind alone by 2030.

Scotland is also doing groundbreaking research and development on wave and tidal energy, which has the advantage of being steady (unlike wind and solar). A small demonstration project is already powering 2600 homes in Scotland, and there are near-term pans to expand it.

People who talk about our finding future solutions to the climate emergency are just out of date. The solutions exist, it is just a matter of implementing them, of political will.

Scotland has that political will. (Truth in advertising, my maternal grandfather was a McIlwee, which I take it makes me an honorary Glaswegian).

Scotland also has plans for car parks that charge electric vehicles, having called for the end of gasoline-driven cars by 2032. The Scotsman says, “Revolutionary vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology will also be employed at the hubs, allowing charged cars to feed electricity back to the smart grid where it can be used to power homes and businesses.”


© 2021 Juan Cole
Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His newest book, "Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires" was published in 2020. He is also the author of  "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East" (2015) and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (2008).  He has appeared widely on television, radio, and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. 

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Nebraska Abortion Ban 3 Votes Short Shows Why Midterms ‘Matter So Damn Much'

"Poll after poll has shown that a majority of Nebraskans support abortion rights," said the state's Democratic Party chair. "But there are radical Republican senators that will keep trying to erode reproductive rights."

Julia Conley ·


'Lock and Load': Trump-Loving Extremists React to FBI Search of Mar-a-Lago

"None of this demonstrating in the snow shit," one commenter wrote in a MAGA forum. "Summertime was made for killing fields."

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Lot Better Than Build Back Better': Big Business Relieved as Dems Go Light on Tax Hikes

One progressive tax expert said the Inflation Reduction Act "cannot be the final chapter in the fight against profit-shifting and offshoring practices by large corporations."

Jake Johnson ·


'What Happens When You Warm a Planet': Massive Flooding Kills At Least 8 in Seoul

"Two months' worth of rain in half a day. We are in a climate emergency," wrote meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

Jake Johnson ·


Trump Says Mar-a-Lago 'Under Siege, Raided, and Occupied' by FBI

"The accountability our democracy desperately needs for its survival might, just might, be a real possibility," said the head of a watchdog group.

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo