Orkney – Island of the Future | Fully Charged

JUN 4 2015 BY MARK KANE 12

Orkney Islands

Orkney Islands

In the latest episode of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn presents Orkney, an archipelago in northern Scotland.

Orkney is full of renewable energy sources that not only cover all the needs of over 20,000 residents, but also enables it to export energy.

In many cases, Orkney reminds us Norway, which has almost 100% renewable electricity and exports it too.

Orkney has a tremendous number of wind turbines, suplemented by energy storage systems, heat pumps, some hydropower concepts and even solar.

It would be smart to use EVs in such an environment, of course. The number of electric cars in the area increased from around 9 in 2013 to 60 in May 2015, which means that there is still a lot to do.

One of the presented wind turbine generates 11 MWh a day, which would be enough for hundreds of full charges for cars.

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12 Comments on "Orkney – Island of the Future | Fully Charged"

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That was cool. Good episode.

Thank you! Very inspiring. Shared this at Robert Scribbler’s blog

A Tesla Tour would be nice.

“One of the presented wind turbine generates 11 MWh a day, which would be enough for hundreds of full charges for cars.”

Yes, you really can run modern society on renewable energy.

There are relatively few places in the world where wind energy makes sense. In most places, it’s too variable, too unpredictable, and in short, not a good investment from the cost/benefit perspective. There are relatively few places where the wind really does blow steadily enough 24/7/365 to be a reliable and practical source of power.

The Orkney Islands is one of those places. So in this particular area, it’s good to see wind farms being built out. But let’s not make the mistake of thinking this demonstrates it’s a good idea to build them in your region, or mine.

I look forward to seeing electrical grids shift toward “clean” energy sources such as 4th generation nuclear power and renewable resources. But let’s not allow our desire to stop burning fossil fuels blind us to the reality that some types of energy production, especially wind farms, are simply too undependable in most areas to be worth the investment to build them.

Agree Lensman, New Zealand is currently running at 79% renewable green energy and that is why Audi made it one of the first countries in the world to receive the new Audi A3 E-Tron.
It is just a shame that Tesla don’t share the same view.

Techno-narcissists imagine we can safely manage atomic power. We can’t even manage airbags in cars. Five point belts would have been much cheaper, not prone to unforeseen problems, and would have telegraphed the seriousness of driving to people that airbags hide.


Not true.
There are VAST areas of the world where windmills “make sense”.
Orkney is obviously one of the better ones but it has already been calculated that there is enough potential wind energy in Europe to power the entire continent 42 times over. And fully a quarter of that wind energy is in Scotland. People in the industry have called Scotland ‘the Saudi Arabia of renewables’. This resource is far more valuable than the oil ever was.
Nuclear, on the other hand is getting even more expensive, is hugely polluting (after 60 years we still don’t a clue what to do with the 300,000 tonnes of radioactive waste that is in ‘temporary storage’ all over the world) it’s inefficentm, it takes 10 to 15 years to build one station and, most importantly, we don’t even need it.
The only people who still think nuclear is a good idea are the people who make money from building them at taxpayers expense – plus the dupes who fall for their PR nonsense.
Every country in the world already has a massive free fusion reactor. It’s called the sun.

Windmills are not much good where I am. Thankfully, PV works very well here.

The real answer is reducing energy use. Sustainable development is an oxymoron. What humans do is mine and convert resources, using whatever energy we can get our hands on. The best we can hope for is extended depletion.

From an engineering standpoint, reducing our energy consumption is vastly easier, and more effective than chasing after energy.


I once worked on a concept for a alien race were they are trying to capture and store energy in batteries unlike humans that try to burn and mine everything to burn up.

And the small and forward thinking shall show the world the way forward.

I wonder what discussions have occurred RE creating hydrogen with the excess, cost/benefit against buying battery storage.
The tidal stuff seems like a brilliant future, as it Isn’t variable.
cain’t wait for electrical utopia to arrive..