Bernie Sanders congratulates Scotland for "significant progress” in renewable energy

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 10 May 2018 in News

Bernie Sanders says recent stats on onshore wind output show green technology is “not only a viable replacement for fossil fuels, but a means of creating good-paying jobs and leading the world in innovation”

Image credit: Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has congratulated Scotland’s progress in renewable energy after a record breaking start to 2018 saw onshore wind turbines generate more than 5.3 million megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid.

The former presidential candidate paid tribute to the “significant progress” made in the Scottish renewable industry, saying recent stats on onshore wind output showed green technology is “not only a viable replacement for fossil fuels, but a means of creating good-paying jobs and leading the world in innovation”.

The comments follow figures from WWF Scotland showing that the first three months of 2018 saw a 44 per cent rise in the amount of energy generated by onshore wind turbines, producing enough energy in January to power Scotland’s homes twice over.

On the most productive day, 1 March, onshore wind produced enough electricity to power 9,065,020 homes, the equivalent to 374 per cent of Scottish households.

Renewable energy provided 68 per cent of Scotland’s overall electricity demand in 2017.

Sanders said: “Wind power and other renewable sources have proven to be not only a viable replacement for fossil fuels, but a means of creating good-paying jobs and leading the world in innovation. Our job is to join the nations who have made significant progress in transforming their energy systems to renewable energy. Congratulations to Scotland on this milestone.”

Dr Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland’s acting director said: “Renewables have provided an incredible amount of power during the first three months of this year. An increase of 44 per cent on the record-breaking equivalent period in 2017 is clear evidence the investment made in this technology has paid off for the economy and the environment, putting Scotland at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

“However, if Scotland’s full renewables potential is to be unleashed to power our economy, heat our homes and charge our cars, then the UK Government needs to stop excluding the cheapest forms of power, like onshore wind and solar, from the market.”

Sanders, the Senator for Vermont, has also previously shown support for the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce a permanent moratorium on fracking.

In October last year he wrote: “Congratulations to Scotland for taking the very significant step to ban fracking following enormous public opposition to the practice. Fracking a danger to the air we breathe and to our water supply. It has resulted in more earthquakes, is highly explosive, and is contributing to climate change.

“If we are serious about safe and clean drinking water and clean air, if we are serious about protecting the health of our children and families, and if we are serious about combating climate change, we need to follow the leadership of people around the world and phase out fracking nationwide.”

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