You’ll be glad to know there is hope for our planet yet when it comes to renewable energy.
Despite the doom and gloom of some political leaders, the transition to renewable energy now seems inevitable, with some scientists predicting we will be powered entirely by sustainable energy sources sooner than we first thought – possibly even over the next20 years!
For the first time in 136 years, Britain has gone more than 2 days without using coal power.
We are taking steps in the right direction, but are we doing enough? Who are the countries which are leading the way?
Renewable energy in Britain
On the 17th and 18th April 2018, Britain went for two days without burning coal, the first time since 1882 when the world’s first coal-fired power station was opened inLondon.
This shows that Britain is progressing towards a sustainable future, as the first time Britain ever went a full24 hours without coal was just last year, April 21st 2017.
As part of Britain’s transition to a low carbon energy system, the government plans to phase out our dependence on coal by 2025.
This so called ‘watershed’ moment comes just weeks after Britain producedrecord wind energy, enough to power 37% of the country’s needs.
But is it enough? How do we compare to other countries?
The top 7 countries powered by renewable energy
Iceland’s favourable geography has helped it to pioneer the renewable frontier. It is truly leading the game, with 100% of its energy used in electricity and heating coming from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. Just check out Iceland’sBlue Lagoon and you will see the awesome geothermal power it has access to.
In 2015, Sweden challenged the rest of the world to a race to become powered 100% by renewables, aiming to be completelyfossil fuel free by 2040. In fact Sweden is currently ahead of schedule,achieving 52% of its power generation from renewable energy sources in 2017, a goal it had previously aimed to achieve by 2020.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is situated on 67 volcanos and is called home by just 4.9 million people. As a result, it is able to meet99% of its energy needs through hydroelectric (78%), geothermal (10%), wind (10%), biomass and solar (1%). Last year, it ran for over300 days in a row powered only by green energy sources. By 2021 the country aims to be completely carbon neutral.
Another Central American country similar to Costa Rica in that they have a large number of volcanoes, making geothermal energy viable. As a result, Nicaragua aims to harness the forces of nature to produce an incredible 90% of its total electricity needs by 2020. Sure, you may thinking that they have a natural geographic advantage which most countries don’t, however, this feat is made all the more remarkable when considered the level of progress which has been delivered over the past decade. In the early 2000s, the64% of Nicaraguans with access to the grid regularly lost power for 4 to 5 hours a day, and only 25% of electricity came from renewables. They are truly leading by example and teaching all other countries the priority which renewable energy should hold.
Similarly, Uruguay has made awe-inspiring progress as it has transformed itself from a nation dependent on oil and gas to one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy. In less than 10 years, Uruguay has gone from producing around a quarter of its energy from renewables to clean energy now providingalmost 95% of the nation’s power. Uruguay continues to make ambitious statements regarding its drive towards a more sustainable future.
Closer to home, Denmark aims to be 100% fossil fuel free by 2050. A large part of this energy will come from wind, this source alone having already powered the entire countryfor 1 day in early 2017. Wind energy produced animpressive 43.4% of the countries net electricity generation in 2017, and it is on track togenerate 69% of its energy by 2022. In the process it continues to set world records for its wind power production.
Morocco has an abundance of sunshine (up to 350 days a year), and it plans to take advantage of this silent energy by investing heavily in solar. The largest ever concentrated solar power plant was opened in 2016, and by the end of 201734% of Morocco’s energy was produced entirely by renewables. By 2020, this figure is expected to reach 42%.
Something to look forward to
It is clear that most countries are taking steps in the right direction when it comes to renewable power. As the population becomes increasingly concerned about power generation and fossil fuel emissions, and governments and businesses continue to drive change, we can look forward to the days when renewable energy becomes a thing of the norm – These days aren’t too far away!
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