Zachary Toliver | Shale Plays Media
As the United States continues to push the boundaries of potential oil and gas extraction, many Europeans nations are pursuing the upper-limits on the cleaner side of the energy spectrum.
According to a recent study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), five European countries now generate more than 90% of their net electricity from no-carbon sources. Since 2012, France, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have had a surge in no-carbon sources of generated power. In addition, eight other European countries had no-carbon electricity accounting for at least 50 percent of their generation.
A no-carbon source of power generates energy while releasing virtually no carbon dioxide emissions. These sources include geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear, solar (both utility scale and distributed solar), tidal and wind generation. Biomass plants are also considered no-carbon sources of energy. While biomass power plants emit carbon dioxide during operation, the full life cycle of biomass fuels is often considered to be carbon neutral for the purposes of meeting the greenhouse gas emission goals of countries implementing the power source.
The United States generated 32 percent of its energy from carbon-neutral sources over the same time period analyzed by the EIA. This percentage mostly came from nuclear and hydroelectric sources with a collection of other renewables making up a small difference.