How the Leading Countries in Renewable Energy Do It
Ever wonder why solar panels are so trustworthy? It’s because they don’t work in the shadows. Baddum chishhh! This year, solar energy was ranked #1 for world’s cheapest power, which makes sense considering you literally don’t do anything to actually create it. As technology improves and access increases, renewables like solar energy find themselves in more and more homes and businesses. Somehow though, the U.S., like many countries, remains married to fossil fuels at our peril.
There’s good news though — some countries have gotten wise to the problems of burning dinosaur sludge and have made the switch to renewables. While Forbes and the rest of corporate media try to lambaste solar energy as expensive and impractical (get real guys), visionary world leaders are grabbing the bull by the horns to send Big Oil packing — and they ain’t happy about it.
Let’s take a look at some of the greenest countries worldwide and how they harness renewable energy. Some of the results might surprise you.
Norway Turns Trash into Treasure
We said some of the results will surprise you, not all of them. Norway has been a world leader for decades when it comes to cutting waste and expanding green energy projects. Oslo unveiled the world’s first waste incinerator, turning trash to cash by converting waste into energy. Their recycling program is state-of-the-art, and they teach their kids environmental stewardship from a young age.
The result? A staggering 98% of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources, but not solar or wind energy. Norway’s bread and butter is hydroelectricity, 90% of which is publicly owned. That means that they not only generate fewer emissions, but the proceeds go right back into their own communities. Seems like we should be taking notes over here.
Chasing Waterfalls in Brazil
Didn’t think you’d see Brazil on this list? Told you some results would surprise you! The Amazon rainforest may be smoking out the rest of the world, but the country of 210 million uses fossil fuels for less than 20% of their needs. Hydroelectricity is alive and well in Brazil, which is maybe expected considering Brazil is home to many of the world’s biggest waterfalls.
There’s more though. Brazil pioneered the production of sugarcane ethanol, a method of pressing sugarcane to make fossil-free fuel for automobiles the same way as corn is used in the U.S. By 2008, half of Brazil’s cars ran on sugarcane fuel, reducing much of the demand for petroleum in the country. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
Biomass Down Under
New Zealand ranks #3 on the list of renewable energy giants. Like the previous two, hydroelectricity makes up for most of their electrical bulwark. What’s different is their reliance on biomass.
What's that? It’s basically trash, only the kind that nature makes. This includes stuff like tree bark, animal manure, and the gases emitted by landfills. All of this can be captured and converted into usable pellets and liquids, helping to recycle waste and cut down on fossil fuel reliance. This technology isn’t new by any means. In fact, it was the primary source of energy until the mid-1800s. If only we could return to those levels of CO2 emissions…
Sweden Goes Nuclear
While President Biden’s over here saying the IPCC report “does not present sufficient cause” to stop oil speculation, Sweden’s ramping up their efforts to ditch fossil fuels completely by 2040. Will that be soon enough? Remains to be seen, but at least they aren’t denying the problem.
And just what are they replacing fossil fuels with? A combination of hydroelectricity, biomass, and nuclear power. Is nuclear power ideal? Not like solar or wind, but the emissions profile of nuclear energy is nonexistent. If it didn’t result in radioactive waste, nuclear energy would be a dream come true.
Getting Clean & Reliable
The future is solar-powered and electric. Getting rid of combustion as a main source of electricity is going to be key to our survival. That means no more hot rods, finding new ways to view air travel, and making the most of the daylight hours. It also means cutting back on plastic and turning to better alternatives.
We can do it!