A Renewable Energy Boom on Orkney

Beyond Nuclear International

Small windswept islands will supply other countries with surplus

Editor’s Note: In April, we ran a story about how the people of Orkney rejected plans to mine uranium on the islands. Here is how that wise decision has paid off. The archipelago is rich in renewable energy production, and home-grown Scottish firms and their employees are the beneficiariesof the boom.

By Paul Brown

A surplus of electricity from renewable sources is a luxury that many communities in a world threatened by climate change might wish for. This is the happy situation of Orkney, a wind-swept archipelago 10 miles (16 kms) north of the Scottish mainland on the edge of the Atlantic. Orkney’s renewable energy, a success at home, may soon be supplying consumers further afield.

Using a combination of wind, sun, tides and waves, the islands have been producing more than 100% of the electricity the residents need…

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