Environmental Pioneers and Nuclear Power Users

In Germany, 2018 began with a historic energy-related event: On the morning of New Year’s Day, green electricity covered all of the country’s power needs for the first time (Source: Bundesnetzagentur). Here are some examples of how the energy transition is progressing in other countries

China

Renewable nuclear power

China has already reached its solar energy targets for 2020. It also plans to further expand wind power. However, the country’s energy hunger cannot be sated by these means alone, so China also counts nuclear power among its renewable sources of energy. It currently has 38 reactors in operation while 20 more are under construction.

Iran

Green electricity for domestic use, oil for export

Environmental and economic considerations are driving Iran’s development. The more the country can cover its energy needs with renewables, the more oil it can sell abroad. In order to exploit Iran’s ideal conditions for renewable energies, investors from Norway, Denmark, the UK, Germany, and Italy are planning to build large solar and wind energy facilities there.

MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES

More green energy

The future-oriented Mediterranean Energy Transition scenario envisions a general reduction of electricity consumption and increased coverage from renewable energies. In fact, solar and wind power’s share of the energy mix could triple to 27 percent by 2040. The scenario incorporates data from 25 countries from the northern and southern Mediterranean, ranging from Portugal and Albania to Morocco and Israel.

RUSSIA

Unexploited potential

Russia has some of the world’s biggest deposits of natural gas, petroleum, and coal. As a result, investments in renewable energies appear to be less cost-effective. The country is instead focusing on the further exploitation of fossil fuels. Russia’s huge potential of hydroelectric, solar, and wind power remains unexploited.

NORWAY

A climate policy pioneer

Hydroelectric power supplies more than 95 percent of the energy in the country of fjords. The promotion of electric mobility and a ban on the sale of cars with combustion engines starting in 2025 are strengthening Norway’s role as a climate policy pioneer. At the same time, the country is benefiting from its huge reserves of natural gas, which make it Europe’s second-largest supplier of natural gas, after Russia. In 2017, more than 40 percent of the gas exports were shipped to Germany.

Illustrations: KNSKB+

PUBLICATION DATE

25 April 2018

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