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Two European countries supplied with 100 percent clean energy

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Two European countries supplied with 100 percent clean energy

Seven countries worldwide now generate all of their energy from renewable sources. Two of them, namely Albania and Iceland, are European. This is according to information from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), reports Euronews. In addition to the European countries mentioned, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Iceland, Nepal, Paraguay and the Democratic Republic of Congo also generate more than 99.7 percent of electricity from geothermal, hydropower, solar or wind energy.

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Solar energy on the rise

Norway comes very close, with 98.38 percent of its energy coming from wind, hydro or solar power. This emerges from data compiled by Mark Jacobson, a professor at Stanford University. Another 40 countries obtained at least half of their electricity from renewable energies in 2021 and 2022. Eleven of them were in Europe. Others, such as Germany or Portugal, are able to generate 100 percent of their electricity from wind, water and solar energy for short periods of time.

Although many of these countries currently use large amounts of hydro or wind energy, experts believe that solar energy could play an important role in the near future. Technology has improved and costs are falling rapidly. Solar energy dominates the expansion of renewable energy capacity in 2023 with 73 percent of the total growth, followed by wind energy at 24 percent. The share of solar energy in the global total renewable energy capacity is now 37 percent.

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Record year for energy from wind power

A study from the University of Exeter and University College London predicts that solar energy will reach an “irreversible tipping point” in 2023 and become the world‘s main energy source by 2050. At the same time, wind energy celebrated a real record year in 2023. According to the latest Global Wind Report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 116 gigawatts of new wind power capacity was installed worldwide in 2023. That’s a 50 percent increase over 2022, making it the best year for new wind projects.

China led the way in installing both offshore and onshore wind, followed by the US, Brazil and Germany. Thanks to strong growth in the Netherlands, Europe also had a record year in 2023 with 3.8 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity. However, the authors warn that annual growth must be at least 320 gigawatts by 2030 to meet COP28’s promise to triple renewable energy by the end of the decade.

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