The hot weather that arrived during early summer this year caused serious problems on the Scottish isle of Eigg, hailed as the UK’s first ‘green’ island due to its sole reliance on renewable energy.
Eigg generates its power through a mix of solar, wind and hydro, and the thinking was always that, given its location, wind would be the prime driver.
Yet the heatwave of this and last month reached as far north as the Inner Hebrides, bringing much milder weather to Eigg than its 95 inhabitants are used to.
This resulted in the island’s water levels dropping, cutting off the island’s hydroelectricity supply. The usually strong Atlantic winds also dropped, leaving the island’s turbines idle for hours and meaning the lights of the 45 homes and 20 businesses were being run off a diesel-powered backup generator.
Now Eigg is investing £300,000 on more solar panels to prevent further power problems in the future.