Renewable Energy Worldwide (Updated 2021)

A global explosion of renewable energy, which the media in the United States often does not speak of, is outlined at “Revolution Greens: The energy [r]evolution has begun”.  Renewable energy, conservation and efficiency can supply our energy needs.

Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins describes the potential of wind and solar power, that they are as reliable as fossil fuel and nuclear plants, they’re alright to supply low cost electricity, the problems with the nuclear industry model. See video of Lovins discussing energy choices here.    

Lovins also discusses renewable energy successes such as Portugal which supplied 70% of electricity from renewable sources in the first quarter of 2013.  Germany closed 8 nuclear reactors and replaced the power with renewables and its industry is paying the same in real terms per kilowatt hours as it did in 1978.  Denmark provided 41% of its electricity from renewables in 2012, with 30% being supplied by wind.  The transcript further mentions renewable energy development in the United States.

Renewable Club

As of the end of 2018, 2351 Gigawatts (GW), or approximately one-third of the world’s electric installed capacity came from the renewable sources of wind, solar and hydro. The International Energy Association estimated that in 2020, close to 30% of worldwide electricity production was sourced from renewables.

In 2018, hydro power produced 1,172 GW of electricity worldwide, followed by wind power with 597 GW of capacity and solar photovoltaics with 480 GW of capacity.           

  • China

In 2020, China added a record 72 GW of wind power, 48 GW of solar and about 13 GW of hydropower. The massive installation of wind turbines was driven by the planned expiration of China’s Feed-in-Tariff program at the end of 2020. Currently, China produces nearly 50% of all wind generated electricity globally.

  • Germany

Aided by a lack of electricity demand in 2020, Germany met its goal of producing more than 50% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2020. In 2018, renewable energy supplied more than 40% of the nation’s electricity.

The early German growth of renewable energy was aided by its Feed-in-Tariff adopted in the early 2000s, although this program has been heavily modified and has resulted in slower renewable energy growth.

  • India

In the electric sector, renewable energy accounted for almost 35% of power capacity in 2019. India has set a new target of 100GW of solar power by 2022. Wind power capacity was over 36GW in 2019. India has a strong manufacturing base of 20 manufacturers of 53 different wind turbine models. Hydro provided 45GW of capacity of electricity.

  • Renewables in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Service (EIA) in the first 5 months of 2020, more than 25% of U.S. electricity came from renewable energy. Over 3% of the nation’s  total electricity is produced by solar photovoltaics and over 9% from wind turbines.

In 2019, 14 States generated 10% or more of their electricity from wind power. The national average price of wind Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) has dropped below $0.02 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

  • Corporations

Global corporate clean energy usage increased 18% in 2020 to 23.7 Gigawatts (GW). Amazon is the world leader, with Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 3 GW of solar and 2 GW of wind produced electricity.