The world is slowly turning away from fossil fuels and shifting to renewable energy. With carbon footprint reaching to dangerous levels, the future of power relies among engineers and scientists who devise efficient and effective renewable energy systems on a large scale.
But while that is still on the way, what countries can do is utilize present renewable energy systems to its full potential. And if researchers are looking at a template, there is no other place to look at but the Scottish island of Eigg which is already reliant almost entirely on renewables as sources of power.
Using wind, solar, and hydro technology, Eigg has been the go-to location of renewable energy researchers across the globe to check how communities there make it possible. The 30-square-kilometer island has used off-grid electricity since 2008.
Source: Isle of Eigg
It’s a three-energy source balance. The sun, the wind, and the waves are all used to ensure that there is enough electricity for Eigg, comprising about 90 to 95 percent of the island’s daily power.
Eigg has 3 hydroelectric generators – one larger 100kW hydro turbine and two smaller 5-6kW units – and 4 6kW wind turbines and a 50kW photovoltaic array. There are 2 70kW diesel generators for backup.
Source: Isle of Eigg
Source: Community Power Scotland
All are managed and maintained by the Eigg residents themselves through a community-owned company called Eigg Electric. “The whole thing is run by and for the island,” said ex-Eigg Electric director John Booth.
But given the rich sources of power that Eigg communities have, residents are limited to use power which is only 5kW of energy use at any one time, while business owners with 10kW. As an estimate, 5kW is equivalent to running a kettle and a washing machine altogether.
By any case the people go above the limit, their power is temporarily cut off with a small fine. To get it back up, they have to call Eigg Electric for restoration of power.
While that may sound unfair for most of us, it has worked so well in Eigg.
Source: Science Alert