Posting in Energy
A recent report ranks G20 countries based on the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources. Find out which G20 countries led the pack and lagged behind.
Renewable energy -- once a mere blip on the world's radar screen -- has finally gained a foothold, notably in the countries that compromise the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Governors known as the G20.
Since 2002, the G20 countries have more than tripled the amount of their electricity produced from wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and wave power, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council report released Monday. Global investment in renewable energy also has boomed, growing 17 percent to hit a record $257 billion in 2011, according to a separate report released Monday by the UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainability Energy Finance.
Despite these advances, the share of electricity from renewable energy sources is still a small portion -- just 2.6 percent for the G20 as a whole -- of their overall electricity mix.
The NRDC's Delivering on Renewable Energy Around the World: How Do Key Countries Stack Up? report ranks the G20 nations based on the share of electricity that comes from renewable energy. The report also aims to petition world leaders ahead of this month's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to commit to increasing the amount of renewable energy to 15 percent of total electricity by 2020 -- more than double what is predicted under current trends.
The United States increased its share of electricity produced by renewable sources by 341 percent over the past decade. And it ranked second in total energy produced from wind, solar, geothermal and tidal with 111.93 billion kilowatt hours in 2011. Still, only 2.7 percent of its total electricity production came from renewable energy, putting it in seventh place behind France, the UK and several other European countries.
Within the G20, Germany had the largest amount of its electricity produced from renewable energy in 2011. The European Union as a bloc was ranked second. Italy, Indonesia and the UK rounded out the top five. (Check out the graphic below for the complete scorecard.)
All of these countries trail Spain, Portugal, Iceland and New Zealand, which produce 15 percent of their electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and wave power, the NRDC said. For example, only 10.7 percent of Germany's electricity comes from renewable energy sources.
South Korea experienced the largest growth since 2002, followed by China and then Brazil.
Clean energy investments also increased in the past decade, according to the NRDC and separate UNEP reports. since 2004, new clean energy investment in the G20 nations grew almost 600 percent, far outpacing the growth in the overall economy in those countries.
This year could produce more disappointing results. Global investment in clean energy dropped to $27 billion in the first quarter of the year, the weakest posting since the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009, according to an April analysis by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Jun 11, 2012
It seems silly to rank countries on renewable energy without including the original and still by far most significant source of renewable energy, hydroelectric generation. Canada generates over 60% of its electricity this way.
As long as people keep building stupid power consuming items like the milk maid the US will always use far more power than it will ever create from renewable sources. http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/milkmaid-replaces-the-milk-sniff-test-with-technology/6808?tag=search-river If every American eliminated stupid power vampires like this I bet the power consumption in the US would drop a few percent.
Wind and solar have done their job and locked renewables into the market place, but to really raise those 'overall electricity production' numbers from renewables, countries need to embrace more of the innovations gaining momentum every day. A long established form that is just starting to gain a foothold int he market is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). It creates an endless flow of power from the temperature difference in shallow an deep water. It is emission free, works 24/7/365, and is affordable. Plus, the only byproduct of an OTEC system is millions of gallons of clean drinking water. OTEC is on it's way to coastal regions around the world, and could drastically cut fossil fuel dependency for millions. To see more on how OTEC works, and the people making it happen check out the On Project. http://www.theonproject.org/otec/?utm_source=smartplanet&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=mscomment
The US is #1 in the number of kWh's produced by the included renewable energy sources but the environazis had to throw in the dummy figures for the EU-27 which skews the rankings and averages because some of those member-states are listed seperately as well. Anything but give credit where credit is due. The rankings should have dictated the order of the graph; the US kWh's produced is more than twice those produced by Germany, almost double the produced kWh's for China, and 30 times the amount produced by Brazil. And the comparitive production by Spain, Portugal, Iceland and New Zealand is in total less than the US produces annually. NIMBY rules the limousine-liberals that won't allow wind power around their communities (see Massachusetts) and in fact many PC-enviros argue against it because a few birds get whacked by a turbine blade very, very rarely. They don't use the same argument for protesting against all aircraft usage which kills hundreds-of-thousands of birds every year. It is a ruse to NIMBY. Why doesn't the list include hydroelectric power which is also a renewable energy source? Because it is also verboten by the environazis. Hydroelectric power is not politically-correct. And the US has a ton of it too and it would make the US look too good in the rankings; and we know they don't deserve it!