The New Norm – 100% Renewable Energy Part III

All the gains in renewable is so remarkable; I want to share one more perspective from The World Economic Forum. Established in 1971, this not-for-profit international organization for public-private cooperation is committed to improving the state of the world. They engage the “foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” They highlighted the following notable efforts:

Morocco – This country on the edge of the Sahara desert and the Middle East’s top energy-importing country, is building the world’s largest concentrated solar power plants.  They will reduce their countries dependence on fossil fuel by 2.5 million tons of oil, producing enough energy for one million Moroccans.

Bangladesh – This country is becoming the world’s fastest expansion of solar energy. About 3.5 million homes now have solar home systems.

China – They are turning 800 primary and middle schools in Beijing into “sunshine schools”. These efforts will make the air healthier and increase student environmental awareness.

Mexico – The government promoted energy efficient efforts by distributing almost 23 million free energy-saving light bulbs. The families now save up to 18 percent on their electricity bill. This action alone resulted in reducing 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Turkey – Many multi-faceted steps have been taken resulting in substantial growth of renewables since 2001. All projects combined are now reducing an estimated 5 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.

One other source – EcoWatch is a leading website that reports on environmental news, green living, sustainable business, science and politics. They report Brazil has 15 fully fossil-fuel free cities. Several others are close to 100% with the Brazilian city average being 59%. EcoWatch cites Asian Pacific cities as the most dependent on fossil fuels; Europe the most renewable friendly with North America and Africa falling in the middle.

Per the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 20,000 oil spills are reported each year in the United States alone; 13,000 significant enough to investigate. Toxic waste pollutes our soils and waterways while burning fossil fuels pollute our airways. With damage to our environment comes compromised health and great suffering.

Nature provides us limitless sources of energy without compromising our soils, waterways and air. We are most fortunate scientists and innovators help us capture those varied energy resources. With less pollution comes a healthier populace saving billions in healthcare costs. We only have one Earth; finite resources future generations will need.  As a humble steward of the earth, I will continue to spread the word so we can all conserve, nurture, and preserve our Earth.

I will wrap up the renewable energy series next week, highlighting the cities around the United States who are leading the pursuit of efficiencies and clean renewable energy, followed by an update on Missouri’s progress.

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The New Norm – 100% Renewable Energy – Part II

With a combination of efficient technology improvements and a rapid decline in renewable manufacturing costs, the world can easily capture all the energy nature has to offer. As we choose renewables over fossil fuels, we in turn nurture the earth.  A symbiotic relationship at its best!

To date, European countries have taken the lead on per capita installments of solar and wind in particular, but emerging leaders are now coming to the forefront, developing countries. A couple sources indicate developing countries investments in renewables actually surpassed that of developed countries in 2015!

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reports the progress of these Champions. China is the largest investor globally employing the most people in the renewable field in any country. Last year Mexico agreed to double its renewable power generation by 2018, focusing on wind power. India is discussing increasing their goals to 40% renewable by 2030. Morocco’s goals are to pursue energy efficiencies reducing their energy consumption by 12% while growing renewable energy sources to 40% of their needs by 2020.  The Philippines plan to double their renewable power to about 50% by 2030. Indonesia has recently passed legislation aimed to grow their renewable from 5% to 25% by 2023. Based on economic capabilities, the countries that led in renewable energy source investments in 2013 were Uruguay, Mauritius, Costa Rica, South Africa and Nicaragua. And in 2014, the countries with the largest investors per national GDP were Burundi, Kenya, Honduras, Jordan and Uruguay.  South Africa is aggressively pursuing solar, collectors now on almost every third roof in the country. Now those are some amazing statistic!

It’s becoming clear, with the significant cost reductions of renewables, clean energy is now within the reach of poorer countries. WWF explains why this is happening.

  1. Renewables offer three to five more jobs per unit of energy generated than fossil fuels. “Renewables overcome erratic, unpredictable and often high, fuel costs, which is useful for oil and gas-importing nations.”
  2. Renewables consume less water compared to coal, nuclear, and shale gas, making it more conducive to drier and water-stressed nations.
  3. Renewables don’t emit conventional air pollution creating healthier air conditions and there is no toxic waste or ash, such as toxic remains from nuclear and coal. Citizens are healthier and save billions in healthcare costs.
  4. Renewables don’t generate global warming gases. The world is in agreement, renewable are critical component of sustainable development.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder leaders are pursuing renewables world-wide!