Perhaps it’s just human nature to be more reactionary than proactive. Maybe we’ve grown complacent. Perhaps the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan has been a real wake up call. Whatever the reason, countries all over the world are finally rethinking electricity production and making a move from non renewable to renewable.
This has to make us wonder how far do we have to go?
Here’s information about how the G8 countries produce electricity. (these are in no particular order)
Nuclear -20% Coal -45%, Natural gas -23%- Hydroelectric and other renewables make up the rest.
Nuclear – 75% (world-nuclear.org), Coal, Hydropower, and Natural gas make up the vast majority of the rest.
Lignite (a soft brown coal like substance) – 23.5%, Natural gas – 23%, and Coal -20% are the big three- wind brings in a not too shabby 6.5% and others making up the rest (www.europeannuclear.org)
Nuclear – 18%, Natural gas -38.5%, Coal -34%, Oil, wind, hydro and biofuels make up the rest. (www.guardian.co.uk)
Natural gas (imported)- 50-60%, Coal – 15% Renewables -15-25%
Hydropower – 58%, Coal – 16%, Nuclear- 15%, Natural Gas -6%, Other – 5%
Natural Gas – 48%, Hydropower -18%, Coal – 17%, Nuclear – 15% (www.world-nuclear.org)
Nuclear-40%, Natural Gas -25%, Coal -20%, Hydropower- 8%, Other – 2%
While nuclear and fossil fuels still dominate, some countries are making headway in renewable energy production like Canada and Russia’s hydropower along with Germany and Italy’s push for wind. In the UK however, they have decided to go ahead with even more nuclear production. It will require a major financial commitment and infrastructure overhaul for any one of these countries to become truly sustainable. Population and resources will be tested. Only time will tell if we are merely reacting to the nuclear disaster in Japan or if we are interested in real change for the future.