Scotland has the largest oil reserve in the E.U. They just proved they don't need it.

What were you doing on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016?

I cleaned my apartment and made some amazing curry. Meanwhile, the world was pretty active too. Thailand approved a new constitution, for instance. And down in Rio, it was day two of the Olympics, featuring archery, diving, and weightlifting.

If you were in Scotland, however, you might have been distracted from the Olympics by the gigantic winds. Aug. 7 was a very blustery day for Scotland. The winds reached 115 mph in some places!


For many people, the high winds were problematic. Some bridges had to be closed, for example, and ferry and train services were affected.

But the winds also contributed something awesome for Scotland:

The wind on Sunday produced enough electricity to completely power Scotland. All of it. With zero fossil fuels.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

An analysis of WeatherEnergy data by WWF Scotland suggested that wind power produced 106% of Scotland's energy needs. That's enough to not only run the country, but to power over 75,000 homes as well!*

It's worth noting that this was kind of a magical confluence of factors: The extreme wind certainly helped, but energy demands are typically lower during the weekend. Still, it's a huge milestone for a seriously cool country.

Scotland's got some serious renewable chops going on.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Though Scotland is estimated to have the largest oil reserves in the E.U., they're seriously dedicated to renewables. In fact, renewables contribute about half of Scotland's electricity — dwarfing both nuclear (33%) and fossil fuels (28%)!

Scotland's government plans to generate the equivalent of 100% of its electricity needs through renewables by 2020.

Wind makes up most of Scotland's renewables, but they're also using wave and tidal energy, as well as hydroelectric.

When they were unveiled in 2010, Scotland's AK-1000 turbines were thought to be the largest tidal generators in the world. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

We still need better infrastructure for renewable energy as a whole, but Scotland's epic day shows the power of renewables.

One of the things keeping solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy from completely taking over the grid in many places is the lack of infrastructure. We need to build up our grid to take better advantage of peaks like these while also buffering it for the low days.

But on Aug. 7, 2016, Scotland proved that renewables can provide more than enough electricity. Now we just need the will and infrastructure to bring it everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
True

Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.


Keep Reading Show less