In just two years, all of Scotland's electricity will be generated by renewable sources, setting the nation on the path to becoming one of the most environmentally sustainable countries in the world.
This doesn't come as a surprise. Years ago, Scotland set a goal of cutting 42 percent of its emissions by 2020. When it hit that target 5 years early, the country upped it to 66 percent, which it is on target to reach. Additionally, over the past 15 years, Scotland has gone from delivering 10 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable sources to 60 percent.
On top of that, the government previously set a target for the construction of 500-megawatts’ worth of locally-owned energy generation plants. This was attained well ahead of time, so the goal has now been increased to 1,000-megawatts’ worth of facilities.
Now it's on track to push the green goals further by becoming independent from fossil fuels by 2020.
So far, Scotland’s transition to renewable energy has successfully avoided any harm to the economy, proving that economic concerns do not need to override ecological ones. Part of Scotland's success in this realm can be attributed to the focus on ensuring implemented improvements had a positive impact both regionally and across country.
Implementing the changes needed to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2020 will not be easy, but Scotland is not the only place looking to end its reliance on oil.
In June 2017, an entire province of China ran on 100 percent renewable energy for seven days as part of a wider effort to be more environmentally conscious. California has also pledged to make a complete transition to renewable energy by 2045, despite being the third-largest state producer of oil and gas. Similarly, the city of Atlanta expects to end its usage of fossil fuels by 2035. And, in a larger sweep, a recent study laid out personalized methods for 139 countries to become powered solely by wind, water, and solar energy by 2050.
Still, Scotland's efforts are more ambitious than most. Come 2020, other countries will have a strong roadmap to follow to reach similar goals.