Apropos of President Obama's intent to have 80% of US electricity come from clean power sources by 2035, GE has just released a graphic detailing to the top ten countries with the cleanest energy sources--a small version is above, click here for full-sized version. Since it's a bit small, here's how the rankings (as calculated based on World Bank and IEA data) fall out:
- 80.6%, Iceland -- 12,661 kilotonnes, supplying 300,000 people.
- 46.2%, Sweden -- 23,295 kilotonnes, supplying 4.3 million people.
- 45.6%, France -- 120,255 kilotonnes, supplying 28.5 million people.
- 43.2%, Norway -- 11,603 kilotonnes supplying 2.1 million people.
- 40.9%, Switzerland -- 10,519 kilotonnes supplying 3.1 million people.
- 35%, Costa Rica -- 1,669 kilotonnes supplying 1.6 million people.
- 25.9%, New Zealand -- 4,344 kilotonnes supplying 1.1 million people.
- 24.9%, Slovakia -- 823 kilotonnes supplying 1.3 million people.
- 22.2%, Belgium -- 12,659 kilotonnes supplying 2.4 million people.
- 20.9%, Canada -- 56,298 kilotonnes supplying 7.1 million people.
Which is all fine and good, but frankly despite have low carbon emissions at point of generation including nuclear power and large-scale hydropower in these calculations, when you include the entire lifecycle of nuclear power and the waste in generates as well as the environmental devastation (and sometimes high greenhouse gas emissions) of hydropower based on huge dams, becomes questionable. Both may have their place to play in future energy use, but it just seems disingenuous to rank them alongside wind and solar power in terms of comparative ecological impact.
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More on Alternative Energy:
Is Hydropower Really a Clean Power Source?
Clean Energy Can Power the World in 20-40 Years: New Study
Wind Power Beats Nuclear & Clean Coal, Other Renewables As US's Best Energy Option