A decade ago, the renewable energy movement faced an uphill battle. Today, environmentally-minded nations of the world increasingly embrace alternative energy sources. These countries now lead the way toward a future free of petroleum and dirty energy. In the process, they save significant amounts of money on national energy costs while preserving and protecting the world’s natural resources.
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Despite powerful corporate disinformation campaigns meant to convince populations that renewable energy is not a viable way to satisfy the needs of global industry, the following five nations aren’t just subsisting on renewable energy—they are thriving on it.
Since the start of 2015, Costa Rica has gone 100% green. This move away from fossil fuels will help ensure that lush jungles and pristine beaches remain intact. The comprehensive shift will help Costa Ricans not only save their natural resources, but ensure that the country continues to benefit from its very profitable eco-tourism industry, though they would be wise to be vigilant of the effects of tourism on local ecosystems.
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New studies show that Denmark is well on its way to meeting its self-set goal of being 50% powered by renewable resources by 2020. Not happy with half, Denmark hopes to be 100% renewable by 2050. This would make it one of the first advanced countries in the word to be 100% renewable. It’s an ambitious goal, but Denmark’s recent success proves they are up to the task. Just this month, the nation celebrated a day in which it drew 140% of its electrical power from wind turbines.
Scotland is now using wind power to produce and supply almost 100% of the country’s household needs, but it has not stopped there. During the summer months, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness harvested enough solar energy to power 100% or more of the electric demands for the average home.
Scotland has also invested large amounts of money into creating one of the most advanced computer-driven energy infrastructures in the world.
Sweden is joining its Nordic neighbor, Denmark, and doubling down on green with a limited-coal approach that has been so successful the IEA, or International Energy Agency, commended the country for its new energy policies. But Sweden is not content relying on limited coal alone—the country is also developing advanced biomass energy systems. The strategy has been so successful that by 2010, Sweden was already producing more energy from biomass than from fossil fuels. Steps like these are putting Sweden high on the list of green countries.
Finland is not as far along as Sweden and Denmark when it comes to renewable energy, but it is quickly moving in the right direction. By the year 2012, was already producing enough energy to cover almost 34.3% of the energy needs and by 2020, it hopes to be closer to 40%. With its neighbors leading the way, the future looks bright for Finland.