- There are five main types of renewable energy: solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal. Their common point is not to produce polluting emissions, and thus help to fight against global warming. But which countries are the most advanced in each type of renewable energy?
The most developed countries in solar power (photovoltaic)
Solar energy is undoubtedly the best known clean energy, but not the most widespread yet.
- Which countries have the highest solar energy capacity?
- Who plays the game the most?
- Who could do even better?
– Based on the report by International Energy Agency released a report in May 2016 ranking the most advanced countries in photovoltaic’s. At the top of this ranking, China stands out, with 43.5 Gigawatts (billion watts).
-This country has immense power to shift its energy policy. Then Germany comes second, with 39.7 Gigawatts. Thanks to its fleet of solar panels, the country managed to generate 33% of its electricity from renewable energy in 2015.
- In third place comes Japan, with 34.4 Gigawatts. Japan has built the world’s largest floating solar power plant, and “recycles” abandoned sites such as golf courses.
Wind energy, offshore wind turbines
Wind energy is much more powerful around the world and has the advantage over solar energy to be able to produce energy at night. It shows that wind power is booming, more than solar power.
- The ranking of the three countries that do best in the game is almost cold, as the numbers are astronomical (and that’s good)! Once again, China proves that it attaches particular importance to renewable energies. And wind power is part of its strategy. With 145.4 Gigawatts of cumulative capacity in 2015, the country is hitting hard. It is 33.6% of the world park! That’s almost as much as the overall capacity of the UK, France and Canada combined (35 GW all three).
The most advanced countries in geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is not the most widespread, but in some countries, it is the most energy-intensive. For those who are not what geothermal energy is, it comes from the energy of the Earth that is converted into heat. To capture it, a fluid is circulated in the depths of the Earth.
- This fluid can be that of a natural captive hot water sheet, or water injected under pressure to fracture a hot and impervious rock. In both cases, the fluid warms up and goes back loaded with calories (thermal energy).
- These calories are used directly or partially converted into electricity. The United States was in 2015 first regarding capacity with 3.4 Gigawatts. The Philippines (1.9 GW) and Indonesia (1.3 GW) follow suit. However, if we calculate the number of Watts/inhabitant, Iceland proves to be the world leader in geothermal energy, which represents 30% of its national energy production.
The most advanced countries in hydropower
–Hydraulic renewable energy is the energy provided by the movement of water: wave energy, tidal energy or tidal energy, to name only the most widespread. Ocean energy is potentially considerable, but it is widely dispersed and therefore difficult to collect and far from places of consumption.
- To date, the United Kingdom is positioning itself as the leader in wave and tidal technologies. It is the first country in the world able to launch the first marine energy projects on a commercial scale. Other countries such as South Korea, Canada, Norway and Russia have developed this way of producing clean energy, but there is too little data to rank.
- France is, unfortunately, lagging behind this promising sector, despite the remarkable potential offered by its oceanic domain (follow by the United States, with 11 million km² of waters under its jurisdiction in mainland France and the United States.
The most advanced countries in biomass energy
-Biomass energy is the oldest form of energy used by man since the discovery of fire in prehistory. This allows you to generate power from (wood, plants, agricultural waste, organic household refuse) or the biogas resulting from the fermentation of these materials, in biomass plants. With 15.9% of the global total, the United States is the leading producer of electricity from biomass, ahead of Germany (11.2%) and Brazil (11%).
Which countries are closest to energy independence?
-Aware of the risks of excessive dependence on fossil fuels, some countries have for several years beginning their energy transition. With significant natural resources and considerable investment in renewable energy, the countries of Iceland, Ethiopia, Norway, Costa Rica, Brazil and Uruguay are the first in the class! With over 70% of its energy consumption from hydroelectric and geothermal energy resources, Iceland is a pioneer in renewable energies. 100% of its electricity and 81% of its primary energy needs come from renewable sources.
- Ethiopia is today the African leader in renewable energy. Devoid of gas and oil, the country relies on its energy resources to fuel its economic development.
- The Ethiopian government has said it wants to develop wind, geothermal and solar power, in addition to hydroelectric dams already established on the Nile. Norway is first in Europe regarding an energetic transition. 60% of the energy consumed in Norway comes from a renewable source. The country aims to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Costa Rica has already achieved its energy transition
Brazil is the industrialized country using the most renewable energy, nuclear and fossil only representing 11.8%, while the average of the industrialized countries is 87%. Renewable energies almost entirely power Uruguay. The country aims for energy independence by 2030.