An energy company in Glasgow has decided to go green by embracing wind power for all its electricity generation.
Scottish Power, an energy company headquartered in Glasgow, has decided to go fully green by embracing wind power for all its electricity generation. Ditching fossil fuels for good, the utility company says it has sold off its gas-fueled power stations and two hydropower operations.
From the proceeds, Scottish Power, a subsidiary of the Spanish utility company Iberdrola, will be investing in new offshore windfarms, including East Anglia One, which is due to start operating in 2020 off the coast of East Anglia. In the meantime, the company will provide its 5 million domestic customers with a mix of green and brown electricity. For the time being, some of the power will be bought from coal- and gas-powered plants.
“We are leaving carbon generation behind for a renewable future powered by cheaper green energy,” said Keith Anderson, the company’s chief executive. “We have closed coal, sold gas and built enough wind to power 1.2 million homes.”
Currently, Scottish Power has a wind power capacity of 2,700 MW, and in the coming years it will be investing £5.2 billion in renewables, enhanced grid networks and various forms of smart technology. From now on, Anderson said in a statement, “we can focus solely on making energy generation cheaper, cutting carbon quicker, building smart grids and connecting customers to renewable electric future for transportation and heating.”
The company’s embrace of renewable energy is part of a continent-wide trend to transition away from fossil fuels in electricity generation. “Energy companies must be part of the solution to climate change,” said Ignacio Galán, chairman and chief executive of Iberdrola, Scottish Power’s parent company. “[We are] acting now to cut carbon emissions 30 per cent by 2020 and be carbon neutral by 2050. The sale of these generation assets is consistent with our strategy.”
Environmentalist groups, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have welcomed Scottish Power’s decision to embrace renewable energy. “This is a hugely welcome move from Scottish Power and another clear signal that the clean energy transition is accelerating,” Sam Gardner, acting director at WWF Scotland, said in a statement.
“Too often people talk about renewables being the future,” Gardner added, “but this just shows how critical a role they already play in the here and now – cutting emissions, creating jobs and keeping our lights on.”