Scotland may achieve energy independence before political independence

Th’ Gaelic gales o’ Britain’s blashie northern land dinnae just carry Celtic tunes o’er th’ highland anymair. Noo, they’re reducin’ the need fur fossil ‘n’ nuke power as weel, thanks tae win’ turbines a’ ower Scootlund producin’ loads o’ lecky.

In case you didn’t catch that, ThinkProgress published an article yesterday whose title sums up the story: “Scotland Produced Enough Wind Energy To Power Every Home In October.”

This news is super noteworthy and good, especially because Scotland’s flurry of wind helps keep watts flowing while four big U.K. nuclear power plants are offline, preventing a huge ramp up of coal and gas burning to replace the nuke power.

But it also brings up one thing that often gets glossed: “Powered homes” can be a confusing unit. What does that mean in terms of factories, shops, streetlights, andserver farms using electricity? What if 200 homes equals half a factory? That unit also ignores big differences in how homes use energy, rendering efficiency and conservation irrelevant. This is all just to say “all the homes in Scotland” is not “all of Scotland” (even though it sounds like it).

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