With rising sea levels, increased heat waves and more violent storms, climate change as a result of human behavior is on the rise. The main culprit is fossil fuels, our main source of energy, as energy demands grow every year.
A few countries are deciding to no longer be a part of the carbon footprint. These countries have abandoned the ancient practice of burning fossil fuels and have installed renewable resource facilities to accommodate their communities’ energy demands all while saving them money. Take a look at these four countries that are leading the way in sustainable energy!
Although known for its breathtaking scenery, geysers, and the Blue Lagoon, Iceland is a country famous for its use of abundant renewable and sustainable energy. Today, 100 percent of Iceland’s energy is sourced from renewable resources.
Hydropower is responsible for two thirds of the island country’s energy and the last third is geothermal. The country taps into the volcanic roots of the island, providing almost 97 percent of it’s demand for hot water and heat through geothermal energy. It’s no wonder that Iceland has one of the world’s highest standards of living!
© James St. John
Similar to Iceland, Norway depends greatly on hydro power for it’s energy. More than 99 percent of the mainland’s electricity demands are fulfilled through the hydropower plants. Norway also utilizes it’s large potential in wind and wave power, including bio-energy from it’s wood sources.
In addition, while Noway is fairly limited when it comes to solar power, it helps the world as one of the largest producers of solar grade silicon and solar cells.
© Michael Gwyther-Jones
In 2013, this South American developing country went from having literally no wind power a decade before to becoming a world-record holder in renewable resources. That same year it was receiving the largest share of clean energy investments and had the most wind plants per capita than any other country.
Year-after-year, Uruguay has continued to beat expectations and the government has responded by increasing their wind capacity. The rest of the world could take a few cues from this country’s ability to decarbonize the country with little funding and some reliable wind.
© Mathias Appel
Tokelau is another island country, and islands are one of the most vulnerable places in the world when it comes to climate change. Rising sea levels and an increasing severity of storms are just the start of the threats that islands are facing. Their residents also pay high prices for energy since island’s resources are generally limited.
This island is challenging the expensive island living and proving that energy doesn’t have to be expensive or more damaging to our already fragile environment. They now have three solar photovoltaic systems, 4,032-solar panels, 392 inverters and 1,344 batteries that provide 50 percent more than their current electricity demand. And when the skies are gray? The generators run on the island’s local coconut oil to continue energy production while the batteries recharge.
A country run on coconut oil sounds like a dream …
© Sam Howzit