Can you guess which country produces the most renewable energy in the world, or at least, which country has the most infrastructure in place to produce green energy??
If you're thinking the usual suspects - Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway or Denmark - you're actually WRONG.
While these countries are often top of the list in terms of sustainability, the percentage of their energy that comes from renewable sources, (not to mention 'happiness') their actual output and capacity for renewable energy is not so big on a world stage.
In fact, the country with the greatest installed capacity of renewable energy - for things such as solar, wind, geo-thermal or hydro - is... CHINA.
Hold up, what? Isn't China the most polluting country in the world?
So this is the really odd part, because that is also true.
China leads the world in both renewable energy production AND coal based (the most Co2 emitting of the commonly used energy sources) energy consumption. And they don't seem to have plans to slow the development of EITHER.
How is that possible?
Well... because their strategy is more 'economic' than environmental.
"And China's wind capacity, at a whopping 310GW, also leads the world. With another 750GW of new wind and solar projects in the pipeline, China will hit its 2030 target of 1,200GW – an unimaginable number when proposed just a few years ago – five years early." (The Guardian, UK)
Let's stop and pause on this for a minute. China hit its 2030 target 5 YEARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE... that's wild.
And yet, China is still choking on coal fumes. How is this possible?
You see, there's money to be made in renewable energy solutions, but there's an equal and opposite lack of political will to stop using coal plants.
I sometimes wonder how different we all really are, because here in North America (the US in particular) there is a similar debate and struggle to as John Lennon - via Chuck Berry - so aptly put it: "COME TOGETHER..."
And this, dear friend, is where I wish to tread off this discussion and quote a line from a blue-grass track - Dark As a Dungeon - about the trials of working as a coal miner:
"Like a fiend with his dope, and a drunkard his wine, a man will have lust... for the lure of the mine"
Clearly this lust has captivated not only those who work in the mines, but those who run and profit from them.
And so, once again, we see that our problem is less about capacity or technology or even economics, because clearly all of these factors have been solved in the world's largest country.
Rather, our problem is about political will and change management.
- A useable, saleable recipe, delivered in a manner that will be acceptable to those whose livliehoods - both shareholders, Directors and workers - currently depend on coal, oil and gas.
- Boundaries. Like the recent Montana court ruling that said the state must take climate change into account when approving new oil and gas projects to help ensure youth a healthy future environment. (more on this later)
Thanks for reading and learning with me - and please don't hesitate to respond below if you agree, disagree or wish to add more to the discussion.
And if you're feeling inclined, VISIT OUR SHOP, where we continue to work towards healthy bodies and a healthy environment for all!
Steve and the whole etee crew