In our quest to shake the yoke of fossil fuel reliance, it appears we are finally making some headway. Most notably, we are making some great strides across the pond in Europe. From Portugal to Britain, here are some of the most significant accomplishments we have seen in just the last year:
Portugal Ran on Supplied Power from Solely Renewable Sources for Four Days.
For a remarkable 107 hours, the entire country of Portugal was being supplied power from solely renewable alternative energy resources. By drawing electricity from solar, wind, and hydropower, the country operated as normally without polluting the environment with toxic carbon emissions. Most remarkably, perhaps, is that just three years ago Portugal was producing half of its national electricity output from environmentally destructive fossil fuels.
Germany, the World’s Fourth Largest Economy, Nearly Powered its Entire Country from Solar and Wind Power.
Astoundingly so, Germany supplied an immense 87% of its electricity from solar and wind power on May 8th. In fact, due to said alternative energy’s success, the price of electricity actually plummeted so much that people were making money by just powering their homes. Although a little confusing, this was able to happen because “coal and nuclear plants couldn’t shut down fast enough to respond to the excess power.”
Britain Overcame its Coal Reliance for the First Time in Over a Century
From May 9th to May 15th, England’s coal usage actually became nonexistent in regards to powering electricity. Amazingly, this is the first time this has ever happened since 1882 when the country opened its first ever public power station. By providing power for nearly a week without the use of coal, England has demonstrated its ability to overcome, at least temporarily, fossil fuel reliance.
Scotland Shut Down its Final Coal-Powered Plant
Towards the end of March, this year, Scotland shut down its final coal-fired power plant. Although the plant supplied electricity for almost fifty years, the recently implemented carbon tax was its death sentence. Fortunately, Scotland’s now nonexistent coal-fired plants could be indicative of a fossil fuel-free Europe in the years to come.
As we continue our journey to a carbon emission-free planet, we are passing notable milestones that should garner proper recognition. This may be just the beginning, but with continued dedication we will be able to achieve our goal.