Several promising initiatives have already been agreed at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, including agreements to move away from coal fired electricity generation and to reduce methane emissions. However, innovation can also help drive the progression to a more environmentally friendly way of living.  

An example of implementing greener energy technologies can be found at Whitelees wind farm, just outside of Glasgow.  Whitelees is the UK's largest onshore wind farm, currently with 215 turbines capable of generating up to 539MW of power, and is already making a significant contribution of greener energy. However, many renewables are dependent on the weather, giving rise to issues with balancing supply and demand.  

There are many solutions for this including pumped hydro storage, with Scotland having a total of 770MW of pumped hydro capacity, including facilities at Cruachan, amongst others.  Another example of grid scale energy storage is the use of flow cells, such as those developed for the Regenesys(TM) project. Whitelees operator Scottish Power has chosen not to rest on it's laurels and is progressing plans for a 50MW "Super Battery" storage facility and 70MW of combined solar generation and battery storage  on-site at Whitelees, to leverage the existing grid connections and generation. 

Clearly, these and many other of the technologies have scope for further development, but are signs that innovation can play a significant part in our journey to a greener future.

It turns out many of the aspirations voiced at the conference are actually already being enacted on the ground — by innovators and entrepreneurs

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