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In the 21st century, many countries are moving away from dependence on fossil fuels for their energy needs. A number of smaller countries have already reached 100% renewable energy, and many others are close to complete independence from fossil fuels. Some of the more notable achievements in our global pursuit of a future free of fossil fuels are:
- Iceland, which is 100% free of fossil fuels, got 26% of its energy from geothermal sources in 2009.
- At the end of June 2013, Germany’s total installed solar PV capacity was 31.19 GW, the highest in the world. Despite this solar success, however, Germany still remains dependent on some of its energy from fossil fuels.
China’s spending to free itself from fossil fuels and develop more renewable energy may total 1.8 trillion yuan ($323 billion) in the five years through 2015 as part of the nation’s efforts to counter climate change.
Nicaragua, which has set a goal to be 94% free of fossil fuels by 2017, aims to reduce its reliance on foreign oil from 70% to 6% by that time.
Paraguay, one of the leading countries in the world claiming independence from fossil fuels, is 100% renewable but also exported 90% of its generated electricity (54.91 TWh) in 2008.
By 2016, solar energy will bring electricity to 2 million Peruvians who currently do not have access to it and rely on dirty fossil fuels for cooking, lighting, and other energy needs.
In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, solar power’s energy potential far exceeds global electricity demand, yet this region still primarily remains dependent on fossil fuels.
In the U.S., 29 states, plus Washington, DC, and 2 territories, have a Renewable PortfolioStandard (RPS), meaning they will need to increase production of energy from renewable sources in the next 10-20 years in order to decrease reliance on fossil fuels.
Infographic created by Aven Satre-Meloy