Wind farm
Representational ImageWikimedia commons

Leading the way in switching to clean energy, Uruguay at the Paris climate talks declared it had gone in for a mix of renewable energy that is providing 94.5% of the country's electricity.

The country has cut down its carbon footprint within 10 years without government subsidies or inflation, said the Ramon Mendez, the head of Uruguay's climate change policy.

The country uses a mix of hydroelectricity, wind, biomass, solar and fossil fuels. The fossil fuels make up for 45% of energy mix, while the rest make up for 55%.

This move was possible, said Uruguay's former national director of energy, by maintaining political and economic stability in the country which upheld its credibility, conducive natural environment, and solid public companies.

Coal and petroleum are still fuelling the transport sector, while the rest have shifted to renewables.

Uruguay, which used to import 27% of its oil from Argentina, now exports electricity to the country.

Using a varied mix of energy sources also ensures the country doesn't suffer from droughts.

"The country is defining global trends in renewable energy investment," said WWF last year about the Latin American nation. "What we've learned is renewables is just a financial business," said Méndez. "The construction and maintenance costs are low, so as long as you give investors a secure environment, it is very attractive."

German company Enercon, which runs the biggest windfarm, Peralta plant, produces 115 MW of energy.

While Enercon has plans to expand its operations, German company Nordex is building a bigger plant in the same area — Route 5 of Uruguay.

Uruguay, in the recent past, has built a positive image for itself in the global arena. It legalised marijuana, clamped down on tobacco consumption, legalised same-sex marriage and introduced liberal policies on abortion.

Uruguay's current and ambitious pledge is to cut its carbon emission by 88%, keeping the average between 2009 and 2013 as the average by 2017, reported The Guardian.