The Isle of Eigg - left to fry without fossil fuels?

The Isle of Eigg off the west coast of Scotland got into trouble recently when its renewable energy failed to come through at once, reported the BBC and The Telegraph.

There are two ways green groups should respond to this:

1. Point out that the project has had many benefits in both reducing CO2 emissions and achieving energy independence. Both of these achievements provide valuable lessons for the rest of the world. This is the pitch for those interested in the relevant issues to be impressed. It could even be an opportunity to highlight the good work of Eigg (a chance for renewables campaigners to, dare I say it, bring home the bacon. To make toast of their enemies. For renewables campaigning to mushroom…   ok, I’ll stop now)

2. Stress that renewable energy country-wide would accompany development of the national grid to avoid localised power failures. The wind/sun/rain may stop in one area, but is unlikely to grind to a halt country-wide. This is more true in, say, the US and Europe than in the UK, but still has some relevance. It’s not the sexiest message in the world, but someone needs to reassure everyone who is afraid their lights will go out and their TV and laptop will stop working when there’s a drop in the wind.

In both cases some facts and figures would be a valuable way to reinforce the point.