We all know how important it is to protect the environment. The Paris Agreement alone showed us not only the significance of keeping climate change under control, but also the concerted effort the world is willing to make to save itself. While there are a number of different ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and combat global warming, obtaining energy from renewable sources is the best and most effective way to make an impact.
Across the globe, countries are pouring financial and human resources into research and development of new renewable technologies. Countries have been setting themselves impressive targets for renewable energy usage and it seems almost like nations are competing with one another to be the most green. This is a competition where there are no losers – the greener the country, the better it is for the world as a whole. We should all be getting behind this drive for more renewables.
In the EU, there are some serious movers and shakers that are doing impressive things in the renewables sphere. Here is what the five most pioneering countries are doing to save our planet from climate change.
There seems to be no limit as to what the Scandinavians are capable of. Progressive, liberal, and setting the bar high for the rest of Europe, Sweden is showing just how far they can go in their drive for a greener nation. Well over 50% of the country’s energy mix is sourced from renewables and this figure looks set to carry on rising. In fact, Sweden has announced that it wants to be the first country in the world to be completely fossil fuel free. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this impressive nation.
Finland has been outstanding with regards to its effort towards fighting climate change. The nation obtains around 40% of its energy from renewable sources, with a particular focus on ground heat, hydropower, bioenergy and wind power. For Finland, in particular, a drive for more renewables in its energy mix is essential due to the Arctic conditions much of the country faces. The need for heat is present for over half of the year and the country needs to find a way to sustainably provide this for its citizens.
Latvia sits at third place in the rankings for which countries use the highest percentage of renewable energy. Currently Latvia uses 37.6% renewable energy – an astonishing amount by EU standards, especially given that the target for the EU as a whole is only 20%. Latvia has reached this figure thanks to its excellent hydropower capacity. We look forward to seeing Latvia add even more renewable energy to its mix and carry on fighting against climate change.
At number four we have Austria – a country that reached its 2020 goal set by an EU directive four years early, in 2016. At the moment, Austria is sourcing around 34% of its energy from renewables. Its main focus is on hydropower but it also has a huge wind capacity and is installing more and more solar panels every day. Austria’s investment in renewables is not only helping the planet, but, on a more local level, it is providing over 41,000 jobs. Win-win!