It may sound like a large step, but, 100% renewable energy is possible. Not only that, but it’s actually already happening! Countries like Iceland and Paraguay have achieved 100% renewable energy and, and Costa Rica and Norway are almost there (99% and 98.5% respectively). Many of the leaders generate their energy in different manners depending on their weather, showing the adaptability of this method for each individual country. For example, Norway runs at 98.5% renewability primarily from hydropower, while Scotland is often able to generate enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes by harnessing wind power.
Other notable entities investing in renewable energy are places like China who is both the world’s largest pollution generator and the largest investor in renewable energy. China is actively trying to correct their pollution levels by investing in many of the world’s best renewable energy resources (they are the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer and they own 29% of the renewable energy patents). Other countries looking to become big players in the renewable energy industry include Australia and Chile.
What Countries are Behind?
Despite the popularity of renewable energy and its abundant benefits, not every country has been successful in implementing these newfound resources. Countries like The Bahamas are having trouble making the switch. Their goal was to have 30% of their country running on renewable energy by 2030, which currently doesn’t seem feasible. Botswana is another country with great potential for renewable energy due to the amount of sunlight they receive, but they have been lacking in the renewable energy sector for many years. In 2019, they invested heavily in renewable energy in an effort to bring energy to a country that simply does not have enough. These efforts will also create thousands of jobs and reduce their carbon footprint.
Where is the U.S. Headed?
The United States is making strides towards becoming a renewable country as well, however, 80% of our energy currently comes from fossil fuels. Right now the United States gets 17% of its energy from renewables (although it was at 20% for the first half of 2019). This number is expected to increase by about 1.8% per year. It’s expected that the US will be running on 100% renewable energy by the year 2050 with a mix of energy sources. The main sources are expected to be onshore/offshore winds and solar plants. Incentives like tax breaks are making renewable energy more appealing to business owners and pushing them to use the rapidly-growing renewable energy field.
The Future of Energy
As stated above there are already four countries at 98-100% renewable energy many more are reportedly capable of achieving this feat in the coming years. Any countries that are behind in this field are making strides towards improvement. A combination of biomass, hydropower, solar energy, and geothermal energy will be the keys to transforming this entire industry as we know it. Are you ready?