Since wind power was first introduced the fossil-fuel industry has claimed that it could never replace the cheap power produced by natural gas and coal. However, when terms like “cheap” are thrown around in the energy debate the fossil-fuel industry conveniently leaves the hidden cost of producing and using fossil fuel out of the discussion.
The hidden costs of fossil fuels includes air and water pollution, illnesses, such as cancer and asthma, and a possible contribution to global warming — and all these cost get passed on to the public while the energy companies rake in billion every year. However, Scotland has thrown a monkey wrench into the oil company’s rhetoric.
An investigation by the World Wildlife Federation Scotland found wind turbines provided the country with enough electrical energy to supply the needs of 98 percent of all the homes in Scotland in 2014, and in December of 2014 alone wind turbines provided enough power for 164 percent of all the households in Scotland. The WWFS called 2014 a “massive year” for both wind and solar power in Scotland, finding that homes fitted with solar systems generated at least 60 percent of the power used.
So, if Scotland can do it way can’t other countries like the U.S. do the same? The biggest roadblock is there currently isn’t a viable way to store the excess energy for those clam and cloudy days, when wind and solar power can’t be produced. Once that problem is solved the energy companies have better hoped they invested their profits wisely.