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Scotland’s Eigg Island

Virescent mountains, verdant valleys, and clean energy, sound like a scene from The Sound of Music or a fictional novel about utopia. It is neither. It is in fact, the description of the one place on this planet that is about to be 100% self-sustaining – Scotland’s Eigg Island. Eigg has a pristine landscape, a broad array of sustainable strategies and gets over 90% of its energy from renewable sources. Along with their witty accent, the Scots offer an example of how to live well, without fossil fuels and rampant ecological and environmental degradation.

Solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric schemes sprinkled across the island meet the energy requirements of almost all of its residents. With a $2.64 million electricity grid switched on back in 2008, operating independently of the UK’s national grid, the island wasn’t able to bring in big energy companies, so they did something unthinkable – they used their electricity economically – keeping consumption under 5 kilowatts, with a limit for businesses at 10 kilowatts. The island also enjoys a wonderful geographic locale. It has abundant sun, and wind – what some would call ‘harsh’ weather conditions, but a phenomenon the islanders use to their benefit. They even have free heating in public spaces, like churches and their community centre.

What’s even more shocking – the island is owned by its residents! In 1997 Eigg Islanders bought the farm – quite literally.  Anyone who lives on the island for more than six months becomes a member of the resident committee that decides how things are run in their town.

Since we can’t all move to Eigg, we can at least implement some of their novel ideas. Sovereignty of power, in multiple versions of the word, apparently, is no pipe dream.

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About Salahi Misal 553 Articles
Was born and raised in London and first came to North Cyprus as a child where he lived for two and a half years. The Island left a long lasting impression on him, for after travelling the world and experiencing many different cultures and ways of life, Cyprus was always there. Sal, as his friends call him, has always had a passion for Art & Design and studied the subject for over ten years and resulted in him specializing in the design and production of contemporary furniture. He has worked in this field for twenty years now. After not having visited the Island for fifteen years he followed his heart back to North Cyprus, where he’s lived for the last four years. Now Sal works on a creative basis for NC Magazine.