While the demand for clean energy is increasing, so is the number of places where it’s hard to come by. As the world moves towards a more renewable energy future, alternative sources of power have become more sought after, particularly as we’ve seen with rooftop solar which has seen a massive explosion in popularity. People are looking for greener pastures and are seeking out communities which support alternative energy lifestyles. One of the best places to be in for that sort of lifestyle is the forest. There are so many eco-friendly products and ways of living which consume less energy that it’s not even funny. The same goes for fishing and hunting, the earthy smells and tastes of fresh meat filling the air as you settle down under the stars for the evening – it probably doesn’t get any better than that.
If you’re seeking greener pastures, the United States of America is probably the first place which comes to mind. America is known for being the pioneer of the environmental movement and they’re leading the way in renewable energy. Several states in the country have passed legislation which promotes alternative energy and sustainable living, with New York being a prime example. The state has banned power plants from burning coal, and enabled power companies to procure energy from alternative sources, like solar and wind power.
In fact, between 2007 and 2012 alone, over 140,000 solar-power systems were installed throughout New York state. The move to solar power has been so popular because it’s cheap and easy to install; even people who’ve never done it before can have systems placed on their rooftops for free. There’s a lot of sunshine in New York City and its surrounding suburbs, so it’s ideal for solar power. The city has also invested a lot of money into energy-saving equipment and technology, so it’s equipped well for the switch to renewable energy.
As mentioned above, Canada has been a prime mover in the alternative energy movement and their eco-friendly policies and legislation are pretty much the definition of a green policy. They’ve put quite a bit of focus into improving living standards while reducing their impact on the environment, and they’re doing a pretty good job. Canada currently gets around 96% of its energy from non-renewable sources, like fossil fuels, which is why they’re so keen on moving away from those. They’re also quite proud of their recycling efforts and have been able to keep a lot of their waste to a minimum. Most notably, they’ve been diverting food waste from landfill sites and turning it into energy through anaerobic digestion processes.
British Columbia, one of the Canadian provinces, is actually the largest manufacturer of hydroelectric power in the world and has some pretty impressive figures to back it up. The province generates about 90% of its electricity from hydroelectric dams which feature prominently on the landscape near the provincial capital city of Victoria. That alone would make it a suitable location for a green energy future. However, there are other options for power generation available in the province, like solar and wind power which are cheaper and more reliable than relying heavily on hydropower. It’s also important to note that about half of the population in BC live in Metro Vancouver which is why the city has become a hub for green technology and sustainable living.
It would be remiss of us not to discuss Australia, the huge country located to the south of New Zealand. Australians are famous for being environmentally conscious and have put a lot of effort into reducing their energy consumption and switching to renewable energy sources. There are a number of ways in which they’re doing it, but probably the most prominent is their rooftop solar power program which was launched in 2012 and enables residents to generate their own energy from the sun. It’s estimated that over 300,000 households in Australia have installed solar power systems on their roofs, with about 22,000 new installations being registered each year. The program has been so successful that, as of April 2018, the Australian government has plans to double down on its investment and make it one of the largest renewable power programs in the world. With solar power so readily available and cheap, it’s easy for Australians to participate in the green economy.
It’s hard to discuss China without mentioning the massive size of the country and its incredible population. While we’re certainly seeing the benefits of a bigger world population and a rapidly growing middle class, there are environmental costs which need to be considered. China is a country which is really passionate about protecting the environment and has made a lot of progress towards becoming a more sustainable nation. Thanks to the growth of their high-tech industry, they’ve been able to find technological solutions to save energy which would otherwise be wasted and to reduce their impact on the environment. They’re also very conscious of climate change and are seeking out ways in which they can reduce their already miniscule carbon footprint.
China now gets about 70% of its energy from renewable sources, like hydroelectricity, solar power, and wind energy. That’s a lot of renewable energy which helps to make it one of the largest consumers of alternative energy in the world. The Chinese government understands the advantages which a fully powered grid of solar panels and wind turbines would bring, and has committed to investing heavily in those technologies. China also supports the development and manufacture of green technology products, providing businesses which are interested in taking part in the green economy with the necessary funds and guidance.
The European Union
The European Union is another place which has led the way in terms of embracing alternative energy sources and sustainable living. Through the European Union, governments, businesses, and individuals can work together to reduce their impact on the environment. They’ve legislated to increase energy efficiency by 2030, reducing energy waste and carbon emissions. Several European nations, including Germany, have also banned the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by the year 2030. Those countries will only sell electric cars and vans from then on. The EU has also mandated that all member states phase out the sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 and 40% of all cars sold by 2025 need to be electric. Germany alone will replace its entire fleet of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. It’s clear that the European Union knows how important it is to move to a greener future and are putting a lot of effort into ensuring that happens. It’s an ideal place for a green energy future.
Where Will We Get Our Energy From In 10 Years’ Time?
It’s quite a common question and one which we’re certainly going to be asking ourselves in 10 years’ time. While we can’t predict the future, it’s always fun to look back and consider what happened in the past. As we noted above, a lot has changed since 2007 when the global financial crisis made it hard for people to spend money on unnecessary items. It’s quite amusing to consider that, in 2021, we’ll probably be wondering where we got our energy from. It’ll be quite a different story 20 years later, when we’re looking back and wondering where we got our internet from. It’s quite amazing how much technology has changed in such a short space of time.
The trend towards alternative energy and sustainable living isn’t going away any time soon. As the world becomes more aware of global warming and its effects, people are seeking out sustainable ways to live which don’t cost the earth. Places like New York, Canada, and Australia have seen an upsurge in popularity for eco-friendly products and ways of living and are leading the way in renewable energy. It seems that the movement towards greener pastures is gaining momentum and isn’t going away any time soon.