Renewable Energy: Which Countries are Leading the Way?
- Jul 22, 2019 12:29 pm GMT
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There’s little argument at this point that achieving sustainability when it comes to energy is an essential goal for all countries and the globe as a whole. But some countries are far better than others in this regard, and it might surprise you which ones. Let’s take a look at a selection of some of the countries that are truly making a difference to their impact on the environment. They’re not all at the same level, but each one is making headway in their own way.
South America might not be one of the first areas that comes to mind when we think of strong environmental credentials, but there are in fact a few countries making a great success of things when it comes to renewables. Paraguay is one of them, thanks to a huge hydroelectric power system that means that almost all electricity in the country is produced at these plants, with nearly 90% of it being exported to other countries.
Another South American country, Uruguay’s renewable energy production accounts for very nearly 95% of its electricity consumption, and 55% of the total energy requirement for the country. This comes from a good mix of hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and also solar power. The task is now to reduce reliance on nonelectric energy needs to increase the country’s ability to make use of its varied renewable sources.
China unfortunately remains the world’s single biggest polluter, but that doesn’t mean that the country isn’t attempting to clean up its act and improve on renewable energy production and consumption. Although renewables only currently count for a quarter of total consumption, China leads in terms of outright renewable electricity production, and the numbers only increase over time. Furthermore, around 45% of all the world’s investment into renewables happens in China. So much of global warming’s impact around the world depends on China’s attitude to the problem.
The small Nordic country is perhaps the world’s leader when it comes to renewables. They set themselves the goal of being 100% sustainable in the late 90s, and they’re not too far off. Around 85% of all the energy supply in Iceland is from renewables, with nearly 100% of electricity meeting this target. This is achieved through the use of primarily geothermal energy as well as hydro power. Iceland may be a small nation, giving it lots of control over energy use, but it’s undoubtedly setting an example for all.
The weather in Britain is famously dull, but one thing that it does have going for it is the wind. The UK now produces more power from wind than fossil fuels such as coal, and 97% of all power production facilities in the country are dedicated to renewables. In Scotland especially, wind power often produces enough energy to supply the whole country. However, the UK as a whole still has a fair way to go when it comes to matching other European countries such as Germany and their renewable use.