Solar and wind energy are still perceived as nothing more than quirks and interesting experiments by a lot of people. However, not everyone thinks so. A lot of countries and individuals are investing their time and money into these renewable energies and are proving that they are viable options.
More than viable, in fact, when you consider that solar and wind were proclaimed cheaper than fossil fuels at the start of this year. So, all we need is a bit of will and motivation to make the switch, if nothing else, it is now officially the cheaper version. You can do your small part by installing something like solar street lights like these https://www.streetlights-solar.com/solar-street-lighting.html.
One country which has been making strides in renewable energies is Costa Rica. If you haven’t heard of their successes, read on for an interesting story. Costa Rica is a Central American country with just under 5 million inhabitants and access to the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. Nothing out of the ordinary for a Central American country.
What is impressive is their dedication to renewable energies. In fact, they were proclaimed the greenest country in the world in 2009. A few years prior to that, they created a plan to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. Even though it seemed like an unattainable goal, they worked hard.
Fossil Fuel-Free Runs
A few years ago, in 2015, they managed to generate all of their electricity without using fossil fuels for 299 days of the year. Even during the remaining 57 days, renewable energies were still responsible for a large percentage of the energy produced.
They repeated the feat last year with 271 days of fossil fuel-free energy. However, this year, they have achieved something even more impressive. With just over a month left in this year, they have already run 300 days on renewables, with a great likelihood of improving before the year is out.
Caveats to the Success
Even though their feat is impressive, we still need to address some provisions. The size of the country and its population has a lot to do with the success. Scaling it up to the size of the country like the USA is not feasible at the moment. They also don’t have strong ties to fossil fuel industry which holds sway in the large portion of the world.
If you think that it is easy for a country so close to the Equator to utilize solar energy to such extent, you should look no farther than Germany. This Central European country is on the same latitude as the northern-most part of the USA and the southern reaches of Canada, for reference.
However, their government is investing heavily in the renewable energy and they are now regarded as the first major renewable economy in the world. They have set goals for solar and other uses for years and then breaking them well ahead of schedule. The latest goal was to generate as much as 18% of all their energy needs from renewables by 2020. However, they reached the staggering 33% of energy needs covered in 2016. With around 500 billion KWh, the energy consumption in Germany is only 1/8 of that of the USA, but it is far more comparable than Costa Rica.