Many countries are totally dependent economically on non-renewable energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas. Do you thing there might be countries using 100% renewable energy? Can you try to guess who are the top renewable energy countries? You might expect to find some of the economically strongest countries in that list, but that would be wrong. The information about that is sometimes contradictory and you might find different “winners” for counties pioneering in renewable energy. Often agencies tracking the green energy progress might decide to skip a country due to unclear or incomplete data.
Another reason for that might be that hydro-power and geothermal energy are not always considered renewable energy for two reasons – sometime large dams are not always environment-friendly and might not be sustainable in long-term (for e.g. when depending on melting ice). In US each state decides individually if those 2 sources will be included in the statistics for renewable energy or not.
Iceland is using almost 100% renewable energy. The earth’s natural heat under it generates more than 80% of country’s electricity. Combined with its hydropower sources, it is using only green energy without using the full potential of all available green energy sources.
Paraguay has one of world’s largest dams which supply 90% of country’s electricity. Itaipu dam was built for 30 years and cost more than $20 billions. Paraguay is generating 20% of Brazil’s electricity from the same dam.
Surprisingly Albania is also in the list of top renewable energy countries. It used to export green energy in the past, but it reduced the capacity of its hydroelectric facilities recently. Albania is using around 85% renewable energy.
Norway is also in top renewable energy countries list since it is using hydropower, geothermal energy and wind intensively. Strangely it is exporting most of it green energy to neighbor countries and thus reducing the percent of clean energy used to 25% only. Without the export it would generate more than 95% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Lesotho is another country in the list of top renewable energy countries. Together with South Africa they build the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which is generating 100% of country’s energy demand and export the rest to South Africa.
The countries above are small and their renewable energy is not significant on a global scale. The countries who produce distinguishable portions of green energy are not in the top renewable energy countries lists, because they have extremely high domestic demands for electricity. The United States are producing a quarter of world’s renewable energy. It has internal resistance for increasing this percent, since it is economically tied to fossil fuels, especially oil. Germany has decided to reduce its nuclear energy consumption by 2022 and is now generating almost 12% of world total green energy. Spain is next in the list with 8%, followed by China with 7.5%. China planned to supply 15% of world’s green energy by 2020. Last in top 5 leaders is Brazil with 5%.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that we used 10% renewable energy in 2008 and forecasts that by 2035 we will use 15% green energy worldwide.