Which Countries are Leading Sustainability?
As more hydro stations, wind farms and solar power plants are built around the world, renewable energy is growing. By the end of 2018, more than 26% of global electricity generation was estimated to be from renewables.
But just how sustainable are countries today, and who’s leading the race?
The Big Producers
As of 2016, data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that China is way in front in the race of renewable energy production. China’s renewable energy stations produce over 1.5 million GWh a year – that’s as much energy as the next three contenders combined.
- China – 1,522,585 GWh of renewable energy (24.5% of total energy generation)
- USA – 637,076 GWh of renewable energy (14.7% of total energy generation)
- Brazil – 465,579 GWh of renewable energy (80.4% of total energy generation)
- Canada – 433,597 GWh of renewable energy (65% of total energy generation)
Where does Australia sit in comparison? Australia produces 37,205 GWh from renewable sources (14.5% of total energy generation).
With new policies, initiatives and technologies, renewable energy projects are soaring internationally. The most popular developments that are continuing to grow are in:
- Hydro power
- Wind power
- Solar energy
- Geothermal energy
Although countries like China are producing enormous amounts of renewable energy, they also generate even more power from traditional (unsustainable) means. So they may not be in the lead of sustainability just yet.
While they don’t produce as much of it overall, there are many countries that can completely power themselves with renewable energy. According to IRENA, these countries are:
- Paraguay – 63,902 GWh
- Iceland – 18,547 GWh
- Democratic Republic of the Congo – 9,223 GWh
- Albania – 7,783 GWh.
But possibly leading the race of sustainability is Norway. The pioneering country is generating over 145,000 GWh to account for 97.2% of its total energy consumption – with almost all of it coming from hydropower. It’s incredibly impressive to see such a large energy consumer running almost everything on renewable resources.
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