Which Countries Are Leading the Way With Renewable Energy
Which Countries Are Leading the Way With Renewable Energy

Forget what the conspiracy theorists want to fill your heads with, global warming is very real. It is happening now and although the damage is already done to our protective ozone layer, it is not too late to prevent further damage and even reverse some of the negative effects caused by mankind.

Billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions are released into the atmosphere every year. The figure was estimated at 39.8 billion tons in 2014 and that figure has surely risen since then. Industry, aviation and motor vehicles are the biggest pollutants in the world.

Experts predict that at the current rate of pollution, global temperatures could rise by to degrees celcius within 30 years and this will cause massive devastation around the planet as polar ice caps melt; we could see entire countries disappear. The same experts predicted that we may need to leave more than half of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we want to meet targets that prevent the continued temperature rise.

Almost 50 countries have agreed to try and make all of their energy production 100 percent renewable by the year 2050. Whether or not they manage to hit this ambitious target in the next 32 years remains to be seen, but they are at least trying.

Some countries are doing better than others. Iceland, for example, has almost 100 percent renewable energy. By a stroke of luck, the country derives all of its energy for electricity and home heating from geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.

Harnessing the power of volcanoes

Harnessing the power of volcanoes

Iceland is a volcanic island that has essentially unlimited geothermal power under the surface and its government created initiatives to help harness this power and turn it into clean energy. Of course, Iceland is lucky in this respect because not every country has this unique resource available to it.

Two other countries that do share Iceland’s luck in having plenty of volcanic activity in them are Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rica has a staggering 67 volcanoes and thanks to only having a population of 4.9 million people, has been able to provide power from hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar sources. The aim is for Costa Rica to be carbon neutral by 2021 and has already managed to rn on 100 percent renewable energy for more than two months twice in the last two years, which is a phenomenal achievement.

Nicaragua also has 19 active volcanoes and is busy harnessing the immense energy they provide. The Nicaraguan government is ploughing money into wind, solar and geothermal energy production, so the target of being 90 percent renewable powered by 2020 looks like a realistic target. Although it does not enjoy a sunny climate, the United Kingdom is leading the way when it comes to wind power. The United Kingdom has more than its fair share of windy weather, but instead of complaining about it, wind farms are popping up all over the place and they are working to great effect.

The UK now produces more electricity from wind farms than it does coal powered power stations. Scotland is particularly windy and is often able to produce 100 percent of electrical power to Scottish homes on particularly windy days. The same can be said of neighbouring Ireland that managed to provide enough energy to power 1.26 million homes on one windy day in 2015. Nearby Isle of Man set itself a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The island’s plantations are managed and replanted so there will always be more trees to replace those harvested.

Germany and Morocco opt for solar power

Germany and Morocco opt for solar power

Both Germany and Morocco are investing heavily in solar power, despite having different climates. Germany is quite a cloudy country yet its solar energy output has increased eightfold since 1990 and in 2015 the country set a record for meeting 78 percent of the country’s electricity demand with renewable energy sources. Morocco, unlike Germany, has an abundance of sun. It is often sunny 350 days per year in the North African country. Morocco has opened the first phase of the world’s largest concentrated solar plants and it is already providing enough renewable energy for more than one million homes, a figure that is going to rise rapidly once the facility is full open.

Two of the world’s biggest energy consumers, and therefore polluters, are also two of the biggest advocates for renewable energy source, which is quite ironic. The United States of America produces the most solar energy in the world and the second most wind power behind China. Unfortunately, its power consumption often outweighs the positives of its renewable energy efforts, something it is working hard to rectify.

Lastly, a word about China. China is busy being the home to five of the world’s six largest solar module manufacturing companies, the largest lithium ion manufacturer in the world, and the largest wind turbine manufacturer. China has more reasons than most to try and reduce its fossil fuel consumption because some of its cities are among the most polluted in the world and its air quality if dreadful.

The majority of the world’s countries are working hard to reduce carbon emissions and use more renewable energy source. Even I am doing my part because I have solar panels installed on the roof of my house which allows me to play games like Minecraft,  Pokerstarscasino or Astroempires non-stop on my computer without incurring any energy costs.

 

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