The shift to renewable energy is a reality. And although there is still some way to go, the truth is that some countries clearly lead the way in the use and production of renewable energies.
Which countries are those? Who are the leaders in terms of green energy?
We show you the data… And also how Spain stands on the international scene.
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Which are the countries that produce more renewable energy?
Although there are several measures that we could use to classify the countries that use more renewable energy, the main one is the installed power. This gives us a clear idea of how much energy different countries are capable of producing from inexhaustible sources.
And without a doubt, the country that produces the most renewable energy in the world is
1. China, economic power and huge investments
With 695.87 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2018, China has become the undisputed leader in renewable energy.
This is a trend that is becoming increasingly accentuated, due to its huge investments in recent years, especially in solar and wind energy. Its immense economic power, its enormous size and its firm commitment to renewables make it unstoppable.
To give us an idea of the size, according to OECD data, China contributed no less than 286,484 Toe of renewable energy to its total production in 2016 (Toe means Tons of oil equivalent). That is more than the entire European Union combined, which in the same year contributed 216,687 Toe renewables to its total electricity.
In fact, China is the leader in the two major “modern” renewables. In solar energy, China produced 66.20 TWh in 2016, far exceeding the second largest solar power, the United States, which produced 56.79 TWh.
In wind energy, China consumed 241 TWh, while the United States consumed 228.
As we can see, the first place is unquestionable.
2. The United States, cutting-edge technology at the service of renewables
With 245.25 gigawatts of installed renewable electrical capacity, the second place is for the United States.
Even in recent years, when its government is not too focused on renewable energy, its leadership remains critical. The 2009 Act, which gave a major boost to renewables (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) remains key.
A mix of cutting-edge technology and unstoppable investments, both private and public, make it the leading Western country in renewables, and the second in the world in solar and wind.
3. Brazil, taking advantage of its enormous natural resources
Brazil had 135.67 gigawatts of renewable power installed in 2018. That makes it the third largest “green” energy producer, but it differs somewhat from the first two.
Brazil is one of the leaders in hydroelectric energy, due to its natural enclaves, with large rivers and waterfalls that favor the use of this source. Furthermore, it is an indisputable power in biofuels, where it is the second largest producer, behind the United States.
4. Germany, the European leader
In fourth place we find the first European country with the most renewable power installed: 120.01 gigawatts in 2018.
Germany does not want to miss out on renewables and, in fact, in March 2019 it produced 65% of its electricity from inexhaustible sources.
The fact that Germany, like Spain, is closing all its nuclear power plants is accelerating its investments in solar and wind energy. It should also be noted that, in that record week of 2019, it produced 7.6% of its electricity from biomass (another renewable source), surpassing even the solar contribution.
5. India, the power of the future
India is the other major developing power, set to become a world leader in the coming decades. Its growth in recent years, and its enormous population, has led to a great deal of investment in renewables to make the great development it is experiencing sustainable.
Its 117.93 gigawatts of installed renewable power represent 35% of its total production. However, most of its electricity (55%) is still generated by coal.
What is the situation in Spain?
Globally, according to the IRENA report, our installed renewable capacity was 48.28 gigawatts in 2018. Although that places us far from Germany, for example, it puts us close to France and Italy, and even above Great Britain and its 43.46 gigawatts.
And the fact is that according to the progress of the 2018 report on the Spanish electricity sector, we are moving forward:
“Renewable energies increased their share in total electricity generation to 40.1% compared to 33.7% the previous year, mainly favoured by an increase in hydraulic production of 84.8% compared to 2017. Likewise, wind power grew by 2.9%, remaining the second source of electricity generation in 2018”.
As we can see, the countries leading the use of renewable energies are those with the greatest economic power, and population. With China at the forefront as an unreachable leader, it is to be expected that the commitment to renewable energy will be accentuated, due to the Paris agreements to fight climate change.
Also Read: Easy ways to save energy.