Once reliant on noisy, expensive diesel generators that provided just a few hours of power per day, the small island of Eigg in Scotland now has a fully off-grid electrical system integrating wind, small-scale hydropower, and solar energy. Each element excels in different seasons and weather conditions, and renewable power provides 90-95% of electricity even as the population continues to grow. Surpluses of electricity, usually occurring in winter, are used to heat community spaces and churches. Eigg Electric is wholly owned and operated by the island’s 100 residents, through the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust. Though none of the residents had a background in electrical engineering, they followed the construction process closely and taught themselves how to operate the system – demonstrating to communities worldwide that they can maintain reliable, renewable energy systems independently, without outside utility companies. To learn more, read this article from the BBC.
Photo by Tom Parnell, Wikimedia Commons.
Category: Local Energy