7 Countries Leading the World in Renewables

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Today the world is facing the increasingly complicated dilemma of trying to fight climate change while simultaneously continuing to produce energy. Last December an agreement was made to cut carbon emissions globally, and with a positive response from most nations across the globe, the aim of containing the impact of global warming is a real possibility.

To cut down on carbon emissions, lots of countries are now investing their resources into developing and  growing solar, wind, and geothermal sources of renewable energy. To see that a green future really isn’t that far away, we’ve gotta look at the countries who are taking the lead when it comes to developing sustainable energy sources.

Here are XX countries who are working hard to not only protect the environment, but also strengthen their economies with renewables.

1. Denmark – World record for wind power

Denmark has long been a pioneer in wind power, and in 2014 they set a world record for wind production with 39.1% of the country’s overall electricity generated by wind. This, coupled with more recent figures, shows that Denmark is well on its way to meeting its 2020 goal of generating half its power from renewable energy sources.

By 2050, the country aims to be using 100% renewable energy. In 2015 onshore wind was the cheapest form of energy in Denmark, so the use of renewables isn’t only having a positive impact on the environment but also on the wallets of the Danish people.

2. USA – Leaders in energy storage projects

North America is a clear frontrunner in terms of announced energy storage projects, with an energy storage set to grow ten times what it currently is in 5 years time. 98% of new energy distribution in the US comes from renewable sources, and the state of California aims to have 50% of its power generated by renewables by 2030.

Over the last ten years, the USA has increased its production of renewable energy by over 300%. Obama’s Clean Power Plan will help the US to continue to achieve its carbon emission and renewable energy goals. Solar costs across the country continue to get cheaper as well, meaning that more homeowners can afford to go green.

3. Germany – Leading Europe in renewable energy

In 2014, renewables were the largest contributor to Germany’s electricity supply, contributing over a quarter. Since 1990, Germany has been using eight times the electricity output generated by renewable sources. The country aims to no longer use nuclear power by 2020, and is also set to invest 30 billion Euros in offshore wind energy projects.

4. China – Sunshine schools and capping coal

China has taken a big step towards reducing their carbon emissions and turning towards renewable energy sources. In response to dangerous smog levels, China developed a solid coal cap policy that experts believe will save 49,000 lives and $6.2 billion by 2020. China has also invested in its offshore wind surges that have grown in capacity by almost 500%.

The country also launched a new initiative where it plans to turn 800 primary and middle schools in Beijing into ‘sunshine schools’, covering their rooftops with 100 megawatts of solar panels. The power generated from these panels will power classrooms and reduce air pollution for both schools and local communities. As the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, China is also further encouraging residents to get on board with renewable energy by setting up power purchase agreements with consumers to encourage the use of solar power even further.

5. Bangladesh – World’s fastest growing solar expansion

Approximately 3.5 million homes in Bangladesh are using solar power systems. Solar power has not only helped the country reduce its carbon footprint but also improved the lives of many Bangladeshis, assisting families in the home and helping people in finding work.

6. Mexico – Helping citizens save money and reduce CO2 emissions

The MExican Government has given away 23 million energy saving light globes to families around the country. More than 5.5 million Mexicans now use energy saving lamps, which helps them to save up to 18% on their power bill and also prevents the release of approximately 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

7. UK – Increasing electric car sales by 300%

Electric cars have become super popular in the UK, with sales increasing by 300%. In the UK, wind power was also making records in 2014, increasing its generation 15% from 24.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) to 28.1 TWh. This is enough wind energy to meet the needs of more than 6.7 million UK households.

By looking at some of the world’s leading countries in renewable energy generation, it’s clear that a combination of investment in resources and making the change advantageous to the general public is the way forward when it comes to switching to renewable energy production. Don’t lose hope, a green future could be just around the corner.