The Island of Eigg, located about ten miles off the Scottish mainland, is made somewhat famous by its rich and varied wildlife, beautiful scenery and its residents’ attempts to become self sufficient.
It has the first completely wind, water and sun-powered electricity grid in the world, according to the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust.
The island’s climatic conditions allow it to generate power from hydroelectric generators, wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.
Between 85 and 95 percent of the energy it consumes comes from renewable resources, according to locals.
Before the switch to renewables, the island relied on diesel generators for power. Locals described them as noisy, inconsistent and said there used to be a lot of scrambling around in the dark.
With the financial support of various trusts, a milestone was reached in 2008, when Eigg Electric provided 24-hour power for the first time.
Click through to the article. There is a delightful slide show illustrating the changes built by the islanders.
It speaks well of the advocacy for crofters having the right to buyout their land, townships and [sometimes] whole islands – so that beautiful, historically-important garden spots like Eigg now have the independence and support to rebuild their island into energy self-sufficiency. The Community Land Unit was for many the seed planted which grew into a new and proper life for places like Eigg.
Strictly on a personal note, I believe Brian Wilson, former Labour MP and Minister deserves credit for the groundwork for ventures like this one. The West Highland Free Press established a baseline for economic and cultural freedom unmatched by UK Establishment politicians. His persona is strong-willed enough to offend as many folk as he pleases; so, I defer to folks’ personal experiences.
Thanks, Mike — great minds and etc.