In Scotland, wind power probably has the highest potential of being harnessed compared to all the other forms of renewable energy. Strong winds in the highlands and islands make these rural areas particularly favourable to wind power generation (Alldritt and Hopwood 2010). Indeed, Shetland is set to have one of the most productive onshore wind farms in the world operational by 2024 (See Viking Energy).
Currently, Whitelee Windfarm is the UK’s biggest onshore windfarm, situated South of Glasgow on the Eaglesham Moor. They have 215 wind turbines installed, supplying up to 539 megawatts of electricity, enough energy for nearly 300,000 households.
Opportunities for harnessing solar power are much more limited in Scotland. Potential solar energy tends to be most limited in Northern and North-western Scotland, and this varies greatly with the seasons. On average, about 12.5 times as much electricity is generated in Summer compared to Winter (Andrews 2018).
Despite the intermittency of solar energy, solar panels can still be useful for domestic heating purposes. Using solar power to heat water for example, can extend its usefulness beyond the times of day when the sun is shining (Aris 2017). Having solar panels also helps reduce the costs of your yearly electricity bills, and gives you the opportunity to export excess energy into the grid, saving you even more money (Green Match 2020). R.B. Grant electrical contractors offer a range of solar panels suited to farm building roofs.
Gilfresh Produce in Northern Ireland manages the growing, packaging and preparing of over 2,500 acres of root vegetables, brassicas and salad crops. The waste stream from their vegetables feeds a 500KW anaerobic digester (AD) which supplies all the electricity for their site. The digestate waste from the AD is used as “green manure” for their crops. They are self-sufficient in energy during the day and export it back into the national grid at night. Sounds like a win-win-win-win-win! (Source: NFU Mutual Diversification Report, 2018)