Even if you’re a climate change denier, the fact that the world needs to move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy options shouldn’t be a matter of debate for you.
Conventional energy sources like coal and oil are in limited supply, and over-dependence on them can lead to major crises in the near future.
Thankfully, as these comprehensive renewable energy stats show, there seems to be widespread agreement across the world on this matter.
Even oil-rich countries are making efforts to increase the share of alternative sources in their overall energy production. These steps are all the more critical when considering the environmental impact of the continued use of carbon-producing fuel.
These statistics are meant to give readers a broad understanding of global renewable energy trends while also answering common questions like, “What country generates almost all of its power from renewable sources?”
The statistics are arranged in clear sections for easy reading.
Beginning with some general data on renewable energy, we move on to current and projected statistics for the major forms of renewable energy.
The last section looks at regional statistics for a clearer idea of how energy-related dynamics are changing in the world’s major economies.
Top 8 Fascinating Renewable Energy Statistics (Editor's Pick)
- At the end of 2020, renewable capacity grew by 10.3%.
- 11.5 million jobs were created in the renewable energy sector worldwide.
- CO2 emission related to global energy plummeted by 5.8% in 2020.
- Global renewable energy market size will grow with a CAGR of 6.1% from 2021 to 2027.
- Hydropower accounts for 71% of all renewable electricity in the world.
- A CAGR of over 3% is seen for the global solar thermal market from 2020-2025.
- Wind turbines can reduce carbon dioxide output by 125 million metric tons (the same output of 26.4 million cars).
- About 70% of renewable energy used worldwide is bioenergy.
Renewable Energy Trends 2020 Onwards
1. Demand for renewable energy grew in 2020 when all other energy sources declined.
Despite the decline in global energy demand by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus, renewables posted demand growth. This is indeed one of the best renewable energy facts 2020 has to offer since it’s the first time in 50 years that renewables took over coal as a leading power source.
2. At the end of 2020, renewable capacity grew by 10.3%.
2020 might be a challenging year for everyone everywhere, but it marks the beginning of the decade for the renewable energy sector.
A 10.3% growth in renewable capacity was among the important renewable energy facts reported in 2021 by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The new growth in installed capacity beats the long record of moderate increases observed each year.
3. Net electricity capacity expansion from renewables in 2020 reached 82%.
(Renewable Energy World)
The renewable energy world statistics from 2020 reported the above figure, which further solidifies the potential of renewables as energy sources. Further data show that wind and solar accounted for a staggering 91% of new renewables. But the bulk of renewable shares still come from hydropower.
4. 9% of variable renewables were generated in 2020.
Solar PV and wind power are different forms of variable renewables. Renewable energy statistics 2020 report indicates that variable renewables generation reached 9% in Q1 of 2020. This figure represents a 1% growth from 2019.
The implementation of lockdown measures caused the demand for electricity to fall while solar PV and wind levels remained the same. As a result, demand for variable renewables noticeably went up.
5. 11.5 million jobs were created in the renewable energy sector worldwide, renewable energy employment statistics show.
The renewable energy sector continues to grow with the promise of providing the world with cleaner and cost-effective energy sources. But aside from that, it also offers greater socio-economic benefits through employment.
Renewable energy job creation statistics show the sector managed to generate 11.5 million jobs worldwide in 2019. A third of the total jobs were in the solar PV area. Also, 63% of it was recorded in Asia.
6. Asia had a 64% share of new renewable capacity installation in 2020.
The most recent statistics on renewable energy show Asia’s share of new capacity reaching 64% in 2020. With that, the region increased its renewable capacity by 167.6 GW and now hit 1.29 TW. This accounted for 46% of the world total. Unsurprisingly, a massive chunk of this increment occurred in China.
7. In 2020, China added 136 GW of renewables while the US installed 29 GW.
(Renewable Energy World)
When it comes to renewable energy by country ranking, China and the US were the giant expansion markets in 2020. Topping the list was China, with 136 GW additional renewable capacity. Wind generated the majority of it, accounting for 72 GW while 49 GW came from solar. Its runner-up, the US, managed to install only 29 GW at the end of the year.
8. CO2 emissions related to global energy plummeted by 5.8% in 2020.
The latest stats on renewable energy also highlighted the dramatic fall in global energy-related carbon emissions. The 5.8% decline sets a record as the largest annual decrease rate since World War II. Indeed, if there’s one good thing COVID-19 did, that’s reducing the amount of carbon emitted from energy generation.
9. Renewables are expected to provide almost 30% of the global electricity demand by 2023.
Another renewable energy fact that is worth knowing is that renewables will have the speediest growth in the power sector. Between 2017 and 2023, renewables are forecast to meet more than 70% of the global expansion of electricity generation, led by solar PV and followed by wind, hydropower, and bioenergy.
10. Global renewable energy market size will grow with a CAGR of 6.1% from 2021 to 2027.
One of the major renewable energy trends revealed in 2021 was the expected growth in renewable market size over seven years. The projected CAGR of 6.1% covers many factors, but it’s interesting to know an analysis of the COVID-19 impact on the renewable energy sector.
United States Renewable Energy Statistics
11. A 1% growth in total consumption of renewable energy broke a more than a century-old record.
For the first time in over 130 years, the total consumption of renewable energy in the US surpassed coal. In 2019, the total consumption of coal in the country fell for the sixth consecutive year and to its lowest level. In the same year, total renewable energy consumption for the fourth straight year, reaching a record-high 11.5 quadrillion Btu.
This consumption in renewable energy growth in the US broke an over a hundred-year-old record of coal being the nation’s leading source of electricity. Moreover, the use of wind and solar in the electric power sector contributed significantly to the said growth.
12. About 20% of the total electricity generation in the US came from renewables in 2020.
Based on the latest EIA renewable energy report, renewable energy sources contributed almost 20% of the total electricity generation in the country last year. Wind energy had the biggest contribution, accounting for 43%, followed by hydropower (37%).
13. Washington State gets 71% of its electricity from hydroelectric power.
Hydroelectricity represented the second-largest share of the electricity generated from renewable sources in the US in 2020. According to the data on renewable energy by state, Washington had the largest hydroelectricity share at 71% of the state’s total generated electricity.
14. 56% of Iowa’s electricity generation comes from wind power.
Wind power being the US largest renewable energy source in 2020, was one of the surprising renewable energy facts we’ve seen earlier. Of the 12 states with over 20% of electricity generation from wind power, Iowa has the largest share, which accounts for 56%.
15. Georgia produced about 10% of the nation’s total electricity generation.
According to US renewable energy statistics since 2010, Georgia’s electricity generation from biomass has grown by more than 80%. Sixteen different facilities contributed about 400 megawatts capacity based on IEA’s preliminary data. In 2020, Georgia’s contribution to total electricity generation from biomass reached 10%. Most of which came from wood and wood-derived fuels.
16. In 2020, California had the highest solar energy percentage of generated electricity at 21%.
Solar power was also the second-largest source of electricity in California, after natural gas (52.4%). Solar, and even wind, had surpassed hydroelectricity (5.3%) as California’s most common renewable electricity source in 2015 when drought conditions led to a deficient year for hydroelectricity in the state.
Hydroelectric Power Statistics
17. Hydropower accounts for 71% of all renewable electricity in the world.
(TRVST, Hydro Review)
Nearly three-quarters of the total renewable electricity generated today is dependent on our water resources. This equals 16% of the world’s total generated electricity. The total hydroelectric power generation in the world in 2020 equaled 1,211 GW.
Interestingly, do you know which renewable energy source makes up the largest share of Iceland’s energy? The general perception seems to be geothermal energy, but it’s hydropower that accounts for more than 70% of its energy consumption. Indeed, geothermal energy follows hydropower at about 27%.
18. China continues to be the world’s leader in hydropower generation, with 356.4 GW total installed capacity in 2020.
According to renewable energy world statistics, Brazil came second in the rankings, with 109.1 GW hydropower capacity last year, followed by the US at 102.8 GW.
Interestingly, Brazil gets over three-fourths of its electric power supply from hydroelectric power, with most of the hydroelectric potential available in the country’s northern Amazon river basin.
Other countries with very high hydroelectric power generation are Canada (81.4 GW), India (50.1 GW), Japan (49.9 GW), and Russia (49.9 GW).
19. By 2027, the global hydropower generation market will be valued at $317.8 billion.
Renewable energy statistics show that the global market for hydropower generation will reach $317.8 billion come 2027. This growth is made possible by the progressive shift toward clean energy and the ballooning demand for electricity. In the coming years, hydropower is expected to be more dominant as a renewable energy source.
Solar Energy Statistics
20. Solar energy led capacity expansion with 22% (127 GW) in 2020.
Based on solar energy trends, 2021 will be another bright year for renewables after solar power-dominated capacity expansion in 2020. Notably, solar energy contributed the largest share (22%) to renewable generation capacity last year. As it has been over the past years, this upward trend is expected to continue this year and in the next.
21. By 2023, solar is expected to make up more than half of the 1 terawatt of additional renewable energy generation capacity.
Based on the latest renewable energy stats, between 2018 and 2023, the renewable capacity is expected to grow by over 1 TW, a 46% growth over the entire period. Solar PV will account for more than half of this global expansion, driven by supportive government policies and market improvements.
In addition, wind capacity is expected to expand by 60%, or 324 GW, with offshore wind accounting for 10% of that growth.
An accelerated forecast illustrates how some market and policy enhancements could affect renewable deployment. The capacity growth of renewable energy worldwide by 2023 could be 25% higher than this potentially conservative prediction. This would mean 1.3 TW, but it depends on how governments address certain policy, regulatory, and financial challenges by 2020.
22. The largest solar power generating capacity in 2019 came from China, with more than 30.1 GW of PV capacity installed.
According to the latest data on solar energy production by country, China and the US (at 13.3 GW) continue to dominate the solar power market. India provided the third-largest addition (10.1 GW), surpassing Japan at 7 GW. Despite its declining market dominance, China still leads in terms of cumulative installed capacity (205.2 GW), holding more than a quarter of the global total.
23. Solar power contributed 43% of all new electric capacity added to the grid in 2020.
The most recent solar power statistics presented us with solar power’s enormous share in the new electric capacity added to the grid. Accounting for 43%, this is the largest in history, and also the second consecutive year, solar power has contributed the largest generating capacity to the grid.
24. An additional solar PV capacity of 580 GW is expected to come on board by 2023.
Over the next five years, solar PV is expected to lead renewable energy production capacity growth, expanding by almost 580 GW. This represents 4% of the world’s energy needs. The largest increase is expected from China, followed by other countries in the APAC region. The relatively lower intensity of sunlight in Europe and North America is partly responsible for the less substantial increase in solar PV power generation in these regions.
25. CSP, a solar alternative technology, increased generation by 34% in 2019.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) devices can continue to produce electricity even when clouds block the sun, or after sundown, or in the early morning when the power demand steps up. In 2019, CSP increased generation by 34%, exceeding the yearly average of 24% for 2011-2018. This helps drive up the percentage of solar energy used in the world.
26. The CSP capacity is expected to grow by 87% between 2018 and 2023.
The deployment of CSP plants is at the stage of market introduction and expansion. In 2016, the installed capacity of CSP worldwide was 4.8 GW, compared to 300 GW of solar PV capacity. CSP capacity is expected to grow 87% by 2023.
Almost all of this new capacity will include storage, thus adding significantly to the percent of solar energy used globally.
CSP with storage will increase an energy system’s flexibility, facilitating the integration of various renewable technologies such as solar PV and wind.
27. More than 60% of solar thermal installation capacity occurred in the Asia-Pacific region in 2018.
The Asia-Pacific region dominated the solar thermal market in 2018. Solar energy consumption statistics show it accounted for more than 60% of the total capacity installed in the same year. As the deployment of solar thermal technologies increases in countries such as China, Australia, and India, market dominance by this region is expected over the next couple of years.
28. A CAGR of over 3% is seen for the global solar thermal market from 2020-2025.
The market for solar thermal technologies has enormous growth potential, with a projected CAGR of over 3% from 2020-2025, renewable energy statistics show. Government policies supporting the use of solar thermal technologies instead of the conventional ones, plus several upcoming projects, are seen as solid market growth drivers.
Wind Energy Statistics
29. Almost 743 gigawatts of cumulative wind power capacity were installed worldwide in 2020.
According to renewable energy worldwide statistics, the global cumulative wind power generation capacity reached nearly 743 GW in 2020. Of this number, over 700 gigawatts were onshore wind power, which grew fourfold since 2019. Interestingly, more and more nations worldwide are moving away from fossil fuels, resulting in the significant growth of wind power over the past decade.
30. China recorded the most significant addition of new wind capacity in 2020 – 52 gigawatts (GW).
According to data on countries by their renewable energy percentage, with its 52 GW of additional wind generation capacity, China was by far the leader of the pack in 2020. The country doubled its installation the past year, and its current wind power capacity (56GW) is more than that of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa combined.
31. China leads the world in installed wind capacity with over 237 GW.
China’s renewable energy growth rate, particularly wind power, grew from having almost negligible generation capacity in 2007 to becoming the world leader with the largest capacity in 2020 thanks to its massive landmass and long coastline.
32. Global wind power capacity grew to about 115 GW in 2020.
Wind power installed capacity grew nearly 115 GW in 2020, which is twice as much in 2019. Renewable energy wind power facts highlight this sector’s resilience amidst the unprecedented disruptions in 2020 due to the accelerating new wind capacity installed worldwide.
33. Wind power generation met 100% demand in Denmark in 2019.
Wind energy consumption data shows that wind power has become an important contributor to Europe’s electricity generation.
In Denmark, wind power has – for the first time – covered 100% of the country’s power demand in September.
This broke an earlier record in June of the same year when wind power electricity generation reached up to 60% more than the country’s need that time. Indeed, this contributes to the continuously growing percentage of wind energy used in the world.
34. Onshore wind power generation capacity is expected to grow by 65% from 2018 to 2023.
Onshore wind capacity is expected to grow by 323 GW in the next five years and reach almost 839 GW by 2023. Enhanced policies and faster deployment of renewable power generation projects in the pipeline could result in an additional 8 GW.
China leads this growth, followed by the United States, Europe, and India. On the other hand, the global offshore wind cumulative capacity is expected to reach 52 GW by 2023, up from 18 GW in 2017.
35. Wind turbines can reduce carbon dioxide output by 125 million metric tons (the same output of 26.4 million cars).
(Heal the Planet)
One of the valuable facts about renewable energy is that renewables are way more eco-friendly than fossil fuels. Wind turbines, for instance, emit about 1,500 pounds less of CO2 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced. One single turbine can avoid releasing the equivalent of 900 cars’ worth of carbon in a year.
Wind power also reduces fossil-fuel emissions, and governments and utilities can better meet regulatory emission reduction requirements. Wind energy generation also uses little water.
According to the data on clean, renewable energy worldwide from the Wind Energy Foundation, 68 billion gallons of water were saved in 2014 by wind power facilities, equal to about 215 gallons per person in a year.
36. The generation of wind energy requires wind to blow at 8 miles per hour or more.
Wind power’s generating capacity is limited to where the wind is abundant. Based on renewable energy information about wind turbines, the ideal electricity production requires a wind speed of 8 miles per hour to occur for 18 to 20 hours per day. Even the most advanced turbines cannot produce electricity without enough wind.
Geothermal Energy Statistics
37. The worldwide geothermal power generation capacity grew to 15,608 MW in 2020.
The overall geothermal energy generation capacity reached 15,608 MW at the end of 2020, a relatively slight growth from 2019 due to the pandemic. Global renewable energy statistics further show almost all of the capacity additions took place in Turkey (168 MW). One of geothermal energy’s important characteristics is a high load factor, which means that each MW of capacity produces significantly more electricity in a year than an MW of wind or solar capacity.
39. The US has the largest geothermal power generation capacity in the world at 3,714 GW.
While geothermal power runs at a much higher load factor than wind or solar power, the geological conditions required for geothermal power mean that development has been concentrated in a relatively small number of countries. According to worldwide renewable energy statistics, the US geothermal generation capacity accounts for 26% of the world’s total capacity. After the US, the countries with the largest capacities are Indonesia (2.1 GW), the Philippines (1.9 GW), and Turkey (1.6 GW).
40. 12.8 gigawatts of geothermal energy were produced worldwide in 2020.
Just like wind and solar, geothermal power has incredible potential as a source of energy. In 2020, global geothermal energy production reached 12.8 gigawatts. With more than 20 countries producing geothermal energy, the percent of geothermal energy used in the world could grow considerably in the coming years.
41. Indonesia aims to install 8 GW of geothermal energy capacity by 2030.
To improve its geothermal renewable energy consumption, the Indonesian government has set a comprehensive guideline with the end goal of installing 8 GW geothermal energy capacity by 2030. Plans for exploration and drilling in 20 geothermal areas are scheduled to occur from 2020-2024. Some challenges are seen to overburden these plans, but overcoming them would make the country’s installed capacity equal to that of the US by 2025.
42. The global geothermal power generation capacity is expected to grow to 17 GW by 2023.
According to notable clean energy trends, the biggest capacity additions are expected to come from Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, and Turkey. The Asia Pacific region will account for roughly 7.5 GW of capacity in 2023, followed by about 5 GW in North America. Global geothermal power generation is expected to reach a little over 110 TWh by 2023, marking a growth of about 30% between 2017 and 2023.
Biofuels and Other Clean Energy Sources
43. World biofuels production decreased by 11.6% in 2020.
Before the pandemic, the International Energy Agency predicted that global biofuel production would grow by 3% in 2020. However, in its latest report, the agency confirmed the drastic fall of almost 11.6%. For the first time in two decades, annual production in biofuel worldwide has plummeted.
44. The US is the world’s top producer of biofuels, with 1,141.75 thousand barrels per day in 2019.
Alternative energy statistics indicate that the US is the leading country in biofuels production worldwide, generating 1,141.75 thousand barrels per day as of July 2019. Other countries included in the top 5 were Brazil, Indonesia, China, and Germany.
45. About 70% of renewable energy used worldwide is bioenergy.
(Wiley Online Library)
Bioenergy accounted for roughly 70% of renewable energy used globally at present. Data on the use of renewable energy by country shows that about 55% of this occurs in developing countries and relates to the traditional use of biomass for cooking and heating.
Open fires and simple cooking stoves can negatively affect health (indoor smoke inhalation) and the environment. Not to mention that it’s dangerous to operate around open fires, as numerous fire safety statistics show. Another 15.9% is used for industrial heating, 12.4% for electricity, 8.6% for modern building heating, and 6.3% for transport.
46. Ocean energy production has increased 10 times over the past 10 years.
According to the recent renewable energy trends, more than 70 companies have developed numerous technologies, such as tidal and wave power, to generate electricity from the ocean. This resulted in the skyrocketing of ocean energy production, recording a tenfold rise over the past decade.
47. There are only two large-scale tidal energy systems operational in the world.
One of the interesting facts about renewable energy is conventional technology, particularly tidal barrages, to tap water energy. However, only two large-scale systems are in operation worldwide: the 240 MW La Rance barrage in France has been generating power since 1966. The 254 MW Sihwa barrage (South Korea) came into operation in 2011. Other smaller projects have been commissioned in China, Canada, and Russia.
Renewable Energy Economics
48. With an unsubsidized LCOE range of $30–$60 per MWh, onshore wind has become the world’s lowest-cost energy source for power generation.
LCOE, or Levelized cost of electricity, refers to the net present value of the unit cost of electricity over the lifetime of the asset that generates it. In addition, the cost of onshore wind energy is not the same everywhere.
But renewable energy vs fossil fuels statistics emphasize that wind’s LCOE now falls below even that of the cheapest fossil fuel – natural gas (at $42–$78 per MWh) in the leading countries like China, the US, India, Brazil, and the UK. This encourages faster adoption of renewable energy sources.
49. Utility-scale solar energy has become the second-cheapest energy source after onshore wind energy.
Trends in renewable energy stress the recognition of renewables as mainstream energy sources. This came after wind and solar power have consistently displayed abilities to complete on par with conventional energy sources.
The high end of solar PV’s LCOE range ($43–$53/MWh) is lower than any other generation source. Solar PV has reached price parity in most of the leading markets like China, Germany, the US, Italy, and India, which is encouraging news for the growth of renewable energy.
Japan is expected to reach solar price parity before 2030. In the US, the lowest costs are in the southwestern states and California. Globally, Australia has the lowest costs for solar PV, and Africa has the highest due to investment costs.
50. The LCOEs of onshore wind and utility-scale solar PV has fallen by 67% and 86% in the last eight years.
This massive drop in renewable energy costs is due to the plummeting price of components and increased efficiency, both of which are expected to continue. In Europe, Japan, and China, competitive auctions are a major factor that further reduces costs by driving subsidy-free deployment at lower prices.
On the other hand, except for combined-cycle gas plants, the LCOEs of all the other conventional energy sources and non-intermittent renewables have either remained flat (biomass and coal) or increased (geothermal, hydropower, and nuclear) over the past eight years. This is indeed one of the interesting facts about renewable energy that economic policymakers and industry leaders should give more importance.
51. Three-quarters of the top 20 US solar and wind states have electricity prices below the US national average.
A quarter of these is among the nation’s ten states where electricity is cheapest, including Texas, known as the wind leader. Both solar and wind generate power at zero marginal costs, thus lowering electricity prices.
With a profound industrial energy audit, a lower renewable energy price can prove to be a major motivation pushing consumers to demand a move to these alternatives.
52. Denmark has the lowest electricity prices in Europe.
Based on the reasoning mentioned above, wholesale electricity prices have come down in the other parts of the world with a higher dependence on solar and wind energy. In keeping with the very high Denmark renewable energy percentage, electricity prices in the country, not including taxes and levies, are among the lowest in Europe. Wholesale prices in the top European solar and wind market, Germany, have more than halved over the past decade.
53. The US states with the most solar and wind power generation also have the fewest outages.
Of course, that includes the state of Texas, where wind production has increased by a whopping 645% over the past decade.
Moreover, the state’s power grid reliability has improved significantly, and the renewable energy percentage world map shows similar trends.
Germany and Denmark’s grid reliability also saw improvement over the past decade. Denmark has even seen wind and solar produce 90% of the power consumed in its western region for a fifth of the year.
54. 4 of the top 10 solar energy companies in the world are based in China.
Based on trailing 12 months (TTM) revenue, China’s JinkoSolar still leads the list of the top 10 solar panel companies in the world in 2020.
Along with driving global investments in renewable energy infrastructure, China is also among the leading countries in renewable energy manufacturing.
The three other Chinese firms included in the top 10 were—GCL-Poly Energy Holdings, Xinyi Solar Holdings, and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. The non-Asian companies on this list are Canadian Solar (#2), the US’s First Solar (#3), and SunPower (#5), Germany’s SMA Solar Technology (#9), and the UK’s Atlantica (#10).
55. The top pick among pure-play windmill power stocks for 2021 is General Electric.
GE’s global industrial company tops the list of best value wind energy stocks in the first quarter of 2021. This is despite the $715 million loss in revenue the company incurred last year. The Canada-based power producer Northland Power came next, whose net income last year also fell by 55.8% year-over-year (YOY). Denmark’s Vestas, which was the top-notcher in 2018, now sits on the third spot.
56. Investing in the best renewable energy stocks started gaining popularity in 2020, which continues in 2021.
(The Motley Fool)
Despite the significant economic slow down due to the pandemic last year, investments in renewable power stocks have grown in popularity. One of the recent trends in renewable energy resources contributing to this is the global shift away from fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.
According to The Motley Fool, some of the top renewable power stocks to invest in 2021 are Brookfield Renewable, First Solar, and NextEra Energy.
Renewable Energy Statistics by Country
57. China accounted for 28% of global energy consumption.
China’s energy consumption grew by 4.5% in 2019, leading to 28% of the world’s energy consumption. This was still lower than its 10-year yearly increase of 10% over the period 2000-2018.
58. China’s consumption of renewable energy reached 29.5% in 2020.
How does China generate most of its electricity? The country’s energy mix continued to evolve over 2020. The country’s renewable energy sources reached 2.2 trillion kilowatt-hours last year, accounting for 29.5% of its total electricity consumption.
59. China installed 11.52 GW of solar capacity in the first half of 2020.
When it comes to the growth of solar power installation in China, renewable energy statistics show a slight increment in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. During the latter year, the country installed 11.4 GW of solar power. The relatively flat movement in power generation capacity is still due to the coronavirus pandemic.
60. 68% of Denmark’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
What country has the largest share of renewable energy consumption? Based on the above data, Denmark is the world leader in terms of the percentage of electricity consumption provided by renewables. Additionally, Iceland is the world’s largest green energy producer per capita (55,000 kWh per person per year). Among the larger EU economies, the figures for the renewable energy percentage by country are 30% in Germany, 28% in the UK, 25% in Spain, and 23% in Italy.
61. The US’s primary energy consumption fell by 7% in 2020.
Energy consumption in the US plummeted in 2020 as one of the dramatic effects the pandemic had on the country’s economy. The country recorded a 7% cut in energy consumption last year, which was the highest since 1949.
62. The US’s energy production dropped by 5% in 2020.
United States renewable energy data showed a similar downward trend in energy production just like its consumption last year. The amount of energy the US has generated decreased by 5%, and this figure was also the steepest drop ever recorded in the country.
63. The US electric power sector is halfway to zero carbon emission.
(Renewable Energy World)
In a recent report, the Renewable Energy World disclosed that the power sector emissions in the country had reached half of what they were projected. It was found that the annual carbon emissions fell to 1,450 million metric tons over the last 15 years. This is 52% below the projected level.
64. In 2020, 38% of the EU’s electricity was powered by renewable energy sources.
(My Modern Met)
This indicates a significant milestone in the electricity sector in Europe. Renewable energy statistics highlight the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation, which accounts for 38%. It also surpassed that of fossil fuel, although just by 1%. Meanwhile, demand for coal drastically fell last year by 20%.
65. Wind and solar power generated one-fifth of the EU’s total power generation in 2020.
The notable rise in renewable energy percentage in the EU was powered by both wind and solar power, jointly contributing a fifth of electricity generation. Specifically, wind generation grew by 9%, while solar rose by 15%. Over the past five years, wind and solar have powered the EU’s growth in renewables.
66. Germany’s renewable energy consumption reached nearly 46% in 2020.
As for Germany, the renewable energy statistics show that the country’s energy consumption from renewables almost equaled the combined energy consumption from coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power. Its greenhouse emission also made a record last year, dropping nearly 80 million tons of carbon dioxide.
67. About 70% of France’s electricity comes from nuclear energy.
(World Nuclear Association)
Do you know which country generates the highest proportion of its electricity from nuclear power? While the US consumes the highest amount of nuclear energy in absolute terms among the major producers, nuclear power has the highest share in overall energy consumption in France. As of January 2021, nuclear power generates almost 70% of the country’s electricity.
68. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption in the EU dropped by 10% in 2020.
According to the most recent alternative energy statistics, the European Union managed to decrease its CO2 emissions by 10% last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Further, the report stated that all of the EU’s 27 member nations experienced a decrease in emissions thanks to government lockdown measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus.
69. There was a 13.38% growth in India’s energy consumption in Q4 2020.
According to renewable energy statistics for India, industrial and commercial energy demand has perked up, particularly toward the final quarter of 2020. Before this, energy consumption in the country has been steadily decreasing since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March. It was only in September when power consumption saw a growth of 4.6% compared to the same month in 2019.
70. Power generation from renewables rose by 9.46% in India in Q1 2020.
Before lockdown, India’s renewable power generators contributed nearly 10% more energy, from 9.433 billion units (BU) in January 2019 to 10.325 BU in the same month last year. Meanwhile, the daily power supply in the country peaked in October at 170.04 GW, representing a 3.52% growth compared to the same period in 2019.
71. CO2 emissions in India fell by 15.4% in the first half of 2020.
As the country strived to increase the percentage of energy from renewable sources produced last year, it saw a sharp drop in its carbon dioxide emissions by 15.4% in the first six months of 2020. This was the steepest fall of Y-o-Y carbon emissions ever recorded among major economies in the world.
72. The UAE plans to spend $160 billion on renewables by 2030.
(World Economic Forum)
The Middle East continues to depend on hydrocarbon generation for most of its energy needs. But the region has started considering decarbonizing its energy production. The UAE, for instance, plans to channel its rich oil reserves into alternative energy with $160 billion spendings on renewables by 2030.
73. The Middle East renewable energy market is expected to grow by a CAGR of over 8.2% from 2020-2025.
The renewable energy market share of the Middle East remains relatively low compared to other regions of the world. But ambitious industrial and economic expansion and rapid population growth are seen as strong factors driving the growth of the renewable energy sector. Growth in the renewables market share is seen over a five-year projected period at a more than 8.2% CAGR.
74. Based on renewable energy data on electricity, the generation of this renewable power source increased by 3.3% in the Middle East in 2019.
This was below its 10-year average of 4.8%. Growth in Iraq was the highest, accounting for 31.6%, while the increase in other Middle East countries (0.4%) was the lowest. Additionally, hydroelectricity saw a decline, at -18.8 TWh.
75. Africa’s energy consumption increased by 2.5% in 2019, faster than the world average of 1.3%.
The utilization of renewable power sources has remained low, with only 0.41 exajoules in 2019. Renewable energy consumption was also the second-lowest (next to nuclear energy, representing 0.13 exajoules) among all energy sources in the same period.
76. Only one-third of Africa’s energy demand is supplied by renewable energy sources.
Based on renewable energy production by country, non-fossil fuels accounted for just a third of the total energy generation in Africa. In 2020, wind and solar generated 6% of South Africa’s electricity. This represents three times more than what the country generated in 2015. Yet, this figure is still below the 9.4% world average.
77. Primary energy consumption in the UK fell by 1.6% in 2019.
This was a slightly faster decline than its 10-year average of 1.4%. Oil and gas remained the dominant energy sources, making up 40% and 36% of the primary energy consumption, respectively.
78. 47% of the UK’s electricity was powered by wind and solar in Q1 2020.
The UK’s use of renewable energy has made a new record after its wind and solar power generated almost half of its electricity generation in the first quarter of 2020. This surpassed the previous quarter record (39%) set in 2019. Renewable energy sources include solar panels, wind farms, hydropower plants, and bioenergy from wood chips.
79. Russia’s electric consumption in 2020 amounted to 1,080.6 billion kWh.
(Global Legal Insights)
Russia doesn’t rank high among the countries that use renewable energy to a large degree. Yet, it remained the fourth-largest energy consumer in the world (behind China, the US, and India). In 2020, the country consumed 1,080.6 billion kWh of electricity. It even transmitted 21.6 billion KWh of electric power to its neighboring countries – Finland (26%), China (15.3%), Belarus and Ukraine (12.5% each), and Lithuania (10.3%).
80. Renewables accounted for only 0.02% of Russia’s primary energy consumption.
When it comes to the percentage of energy from renewable sources by country, Russia remains at a low rank. In 2019, the primary energy consumption decreased by 0.8%, while renewable energy consumption grew by only 0.02%. Small increments were also observed in other sources, such as nuclear energy (1.86%) and hydroelectricity (1.73%).
Renewable Energy Statistics by Country
81. The share of renewables in transport is expected to grow to 3.8% by 2023.
What percentage of renewable energy is used in the world in the transport sector? According to IEA’’s figures, the contribution of renewables in transport was very low – at 3.4% – and this share is expected to grow only minimally to 3.8% by 2023. Meanwhile, renewables are expected to expand by almost one-fifth over the forecast period.
As we can see from these disparate figures, the demand for renewable energy in transport is likely to remain very low because of ongoing petroleum product consumption.
82. There are 169 countries in the world with renewable energy targets as of 2019.
Setting targets is a critical first step for countries wanting to deploy renewable energy sources in different sectors. Many countries have taken even more vital legislative steps to encourage the use of renewable energy. For example, there’s the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which is the current US renewable energy policy.
In 2010, 45 countries, mainly those in Europe, established a renewable energy target. By 2019, the number had almost quadrupled to 169. The countries are evenly spread across all regions, showing that the role of renewable energy in reducing carbon emissions among all energy sources has been widely recognized.
83. Coal’s share in global power generation went down by 4% in 2020.
The decline in coal production in 2020 has made a record – 4% (-346 TWh) – thanks to the move toward alternative fuels. Despite such, coal remains the largest source of power globally, generating 34% (8736 TWh) of global electricity last year. The worldwide campaign toward net-zero by 2050 would require a 14% cut in annual coal energy production this decade.
84. China ranks first in terms of installed green energy capacity worldwide.
China is the leading country in terms of its installed renewable energy capacity. As of Q1 2021, its total capacity reached 948 million kilowatts, with wind and solar farms accounting for 287 million kilowatts and 259 million kilowatts, respectively. Meanwhile, hydropower capacity installation sat at 371 million kilowatts, and biomass power amounted to 31.49 million kilowatts.
85. 100% renewable energy could power the world by 2030.
Can renewable energy power the world? Research suggests that converting the world to 100% renewable energy by 2030 is possible and affordable, but doing so requires political support. It would require building many more wind turbines and solar power systems while also not utilizing bioenergy.
Other changes involve the use of electric cars and the development of enhanced transmission grids and storage. By increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the world to as close to 100% as possible, we could eliminate the waste of $8 trillion—the global amount we’re predicted to spend as we prolong the use of non-renewable resources over the next 25 years.
86. Global carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 7% in 2020.
(Institute for Energy Research)
Global lockdowns have paved the way for a significant drop in CO2 emissions, amounting to a staggering 7% in 2020. Clean energy statistics attest this figure is the largest final cut in annual emissions ever recorded. Further data show that emissions have considerably decreased among the largest emitters, such as the US, EU, and India.
87. Emerging markets surpassed the developed world in onshore wind growth in 2013 and solar PV growth in 2016.
This is one of the most interesting takeaways from the renewable energy facts and statistics collected by the consulting firm Deloitte. The solar and wind industries and markets started and matured in the developed world (defined as the 34 governments making up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
Still, their center of gravity has shifted to emerging markets (all undeveloped countries).
In 2017, emerging markets accounted for 63% of the global new investment in sustainable energy and fuels, widening the investment gap with developed countries to a record high. Today, their cumulative capacity is close to surpassing that of the developed world.
The key drivers behind renewable energy growth include policy decisions, the lowering costs of solar and wind energy, and widespread acceptance among consumers regarding the importance of switching to clean energy.
The share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation is growing at a brisk pace globally.
However, the share growth of renewables in other areas of energy use is much slower and a cause for concern.
There are significant regional variations in renewable energy capacity and consumption. Still, the statistics on renewable energy prove that the countries relying heavily on alternative energy also see the associated benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the most promising renewable energy source?
Based on research, wind power is the most promising among the five sources of renewable energy. It produces electricity by harnessing the wind. With solar, wind power generated almost 10% of global electricity in the first half of 2020.
Who leads the world in renewable energy?
China leads the world in terms of renewable energy capacity installation. Based on statistics, the country has about 895 gigawatts of renewable energy installed as of 2020. China is also the top consumer of renewable energy.
Is the renewable energy industry growing?
The quick answer is Yes! While the COVID-19 crisis is hurting most economies worldwide, it does not halt the growth of renewable energy. In 2019, global renewable energy was increasing by 12.2%, and this continued in 2020. Interestingly, renewables were the only category of the energy sector that displayed a double-digit growth over the past decade.
How effective is renewable energy?
Using renewable energy can be effective, considering its many benefits. Foremost, renewable power sources produce cleaner energy than fossil fuels, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
This can lead to improved public health and lesser global warming effects. Second, renewable energy is inexhaustible, unlike conventional energy, whose sources are depleting. Also, the development and implementation of renewable technologies create more jobs.
Finally, renewable energy prices are relatively cheaper and more stable than fossil energy.
What percentage of energy is from renewables?
In 2019, about 11% of global primary energy was powered by renewables. In the first quarter of 2020, global renewable energy use increased by 1.5% from the same period the previous year. Moreover, renewable electricity generation rose by 3% in 2020 due to the completion of over 100 GW of solar PV and about 60 GW of wind power projects in 2019.
What are the current trends in renewable energy?
Renewable energy keeps on expanding as demand for conventional energy falls. This decline in energy demand has directly impacted carbon dioxide emissions, which is another good news.
Additionally, renewable energy statistics reveal more and more countries are moving toward energy decarbonization by setting emission targets and increasing renewable energy use over the following years and decades.
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- China Daily
- Choose Energy
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- Deloitte Insights
- Economic Times
- Energy Central
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- Global Legal Insights
- Heal the Planet
- Hydro Review
- Institute for Energy Research
- KSU Sentinel
- Mercom India
- Mordor Intelligence
- Mordor Intelligence
- My Modern Met
- Open PR
- Renewable Energy World
- Renewable Energy World
- Renewables Now
- Science Direct
- SP Global
- Star Tribune
- The Guardian
- The Motley Fool
- Think GeoEnergy
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