Some energy resources are finite—eventually the world will run out of fossil fuel. Other sources, such as solar and wind power, offer inexhaustible reservoirs of power if nations commit to harvesting them. Since the signing of the Paris Agreement, many nations are doing just that. Here’s a look at renewable energy leaders around the world and how they’re revolutionizing renewable electrical power.
Three Leaders in Renewable Energy
Three nations are expected to account for two-thirds of global energy expansion by 2022: China, the United States of America, and India. Of the three China dominates the field despite (or perhaps because of) it’s ongoing struggle with industrial and air pollution.
China’s commitment to clean up its air quality partially accounts for its place at the forefront of renewable energy leaders around the world. The nation has already surpassed its solar panel target (which it had until 2022 to reach), and the International Energy Agency predicts China will reach its wind power target by 2019.
In addition, China is leading the world in other renewable energy sources, including hydropower, bioenergy, and electric vehicle usage.
The United States of America
After the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Agreement, the future of the nation’s place in the renewable energy industry was questioned. The United States remains the second-largest market for renewable energy in the world, however.
Federal and tax incentives for solar panel installation has helped the nation keep step with renewable energy leaders around the world, and the U.S.A. is second only to China in wind power growth. While this is all good news, renewable resources continue to only provide 13 percent of the country’s energy needs.
India is expected to double its renewable energy capacity by 2020 as it focuses on solar and wind power while improving electric grid integration. Renewable energy growth in India is expected to outpace the European Union between now and 2022.
Other Renewable Energy Leaders Around the World
India, China, and the U.S.A. are by no means the only renewable energy leaders around the world. Smaller nations are making remarkable inroads on increasing green energy while reducing fossil fuel consumption:
- Costa Rica began meeting 99 percent of its electrical needs in 2015 through a combination of hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind power.
- Nicaragua is on track to providing 90 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2020.
- Scotland has used wind power to meet 97 percent of household electricity needs since 2015.
- Germany meets 78 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources.
- Uruguay now receives 95 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy sources.
- Denmark began using wind power to generate 42 percent of its energy needs in 2015.
- Kenya’s commitment to geothermal energy provides the nation with 51 percent of its electrical energy needs.