Some surprising news from Portugal and Germany recently indicates that we may actually be seeing the fruits of investment in renewable eco energy coming through at last. The first report delivered figures from REN, the Portuguese grid operator, which show that ‘nearly 75% of the country’s energy needs were met by renewable energy during the first three months of this year’.
That is quite an astonishing figure, and it was done using a combination of technologies, specifically wind and hydro-electric power. In fact a whopping 37% of Portugal’s total energy consumption is now being met using hydro-electric sources, and overall the country is using 29% less coal fired power station electricity and 44% less from gas fired stations.
Similarly impressive figures surfaced last year from Germany, where the industrial powerhouse revealed that renewable sources accounted for nearly 26% or over a quarter of the country’s electricity needs. This compares to 2002, when the total share of alternative energy sources was a mere 3.8%, so that’s a pretty huge shift in just 11 years. Theoretically this means that renewable sources such as photovoltaics, biomass and hydro produced enough electricity to meet the electricity demands of all German households.
Two data points do not signal a total revolution of course, but the news is definitely north of encouraging from where we’re sitting. Who knows, we may be on our way to a sustainable future after all. Here’s hoping.