In Brief
  • Spain already produces enough wind energy to power 29 million homes daily, and it believes it can one day produce enough electricity to supply 100 percent of its energy needs.
  • Initiatives like Spain's are currently the only way we can hope to control and perhaps reverse the damage being done to our environment by our carbon dependence.

A Lofty Goal

Spain aims to become a global leader in sustainable energy by eventually getting 100 percent of its power from renewable sources — a lofty but achievable goal, according Miguel Ezpeleta, director of Acciona, a Spanish organization that monitors 9,500 wind turbines all over the globe.

Currently, Spain produces enough wind energy to power 29 million homes on a daily basis. In November 2015, the country was able to produce enough electricity to supply 70 percent of Spain’s energy needs during the night. A daytime milestone was reached in January of 2015 when 54 percent of the country’s electricity was produced via wind turbines.

“It’s incredible. Some years ago people would say we would be crazy people saying these kinds of things, just dreaming, but today it’s a real situation,” Ezpeleta tells ABC. And he’s not ready to rest on his laurels, either. “I think people are going to tell me we’re crazy, but I’m pretty sure we’ll arrive at 100 percent for one moment for sure,” the director adds.

The European Union has set 2020 as the target year for Spain to produce 20 percent of its energy through only renewable sources. Currently, the country is at 17.4 percent, making this goal entirely feasible.

Wind farm in Burgos, Span. Image Credit: Jtspotau/ Wikimedia

A Worldwide Effort

The progress made by Spain and other nations worldwide is a major step in the right direction for our energy problem. Experts believe we may never again dip below 400 PPM of CO2 in our atmosphere, but we still have a chance to curb or even reverse the damage we have done to our environment.

In November, the Paris climate agreement will go into effect, with the roughly 200 nations that signed the agreement meeting to discuss its future later that month at COP22, the United Nation’s annual climate conference. Putting the plan outlined in the agreement into practice won’t be easy and will require a worldwide effort, but with countries like Spain leading the charge, we could hopefully be on the way to 100 percent renewable energy across the globe.