December 16, 2015 | Sustainability + Energy
We're coming into that time of year when many of us set New Year's resolutions. Lose a few pounds, save some money, quit that bad habit... Sound familiar? Well, these are all worthy ambitions, but they're just not ambitious enough! We live in an amazing time when things are changing far faster around us than we even realize. It's time to think bigger and discover the groundswell of people all over the world thinking just like you.
Around this time last year, Renewable NRG Systems set a goal for ourselves and our industry of eventually powering our planet with 100% renewable energy. When we put these words down as our corporate vision, we knew clearly that it was the right goal, but we honestly had no sense for how and when we might collectively get there. We also weren't sure if anyone outside of our headquarters in Vermont was thinking the same thing. Well, almost immediately, we found ourselves surrounded by like-minded people and organizations all around the world.
Just check out TheSolutionProject.org or 100.org to get a glimpse of this stampede. Social media is teeming with ideas, testimonials, and reports of progress, while NGOs and academics are publishing research and policy papers on exactly how we can get there. Have a look at The 2015 Energy [R]evolution to see one great example.
The conversation has turned so quickly to this idea of a planet powered completely by renewable energy that it's virtually impossible to deny its inevitability. The introduction and bonding of like-minded strangers by today's social communication tools gives such momentum to right ideas that antiquated methods and wrong ideas have finally met their match. This includes the old-fashioned, wrong idea of generating electricity from fossil fuels.
There is an incredible mix of passion, policy, and practicality driving this movement, and while some countries like the U.S. still struggle to lead on this issue, many smaller nations are already well down the road. Today, Iceland and Lesotho already generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. Uruguay, Paraguay, and Costa Rica are all over 90%, and Bhutan generates so much extra power from hydro that the sale of this electricity generates over 40% of the country's export earnings.
There are clearly still many technical, political, economic, and social hurdles to confront before we can declare this ambitious goal achieved, but 2015 has been a year of remarkable progress in the right direction. The debate has clearly shifted from "if" to "how and when" the world will rely solely on clean, renewable energy. This is a remarkable victory for us all.
So, as you take some time in this season to think about your personal and professional goals for 2016, remember – think bigger and rest assured, there is a global community out there waiting to link arms with you and make your goal a reality.