Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Andrea Bertoli1
Which Countries are Making the Most Progress for Renewable Energy?
Good things are happening all over the world for renewable energy. Solar energy capacity is increasing all over the world, wind power is expanding in water and on land, and battery storage technology is increasing at a rapid rate, ensuring that the renewable energy that is created is being stored well.
But which countries are making the most progress for renewable energy? We’ve gone through the archives of Clean Technica, one of the leading clean tech websites on the web, along with Solar Love, a site dedicated to all things solar-related, to take a peek at what’s happening around the globe in renewable energy.
Who’s the leader in solar power? As reported on Clean Technica, “Cumulative utility-scale solar power generation capacity reached 35.9 GW at the end of 2014, with record new capacity addition last year, Wiki Solar has reported. Over 14 GW of utility-scale solar power capacity was added during 2014. North and Central America and Asia led all markets to take the annual capacity addition to the highest level ever. During 2013 about 7.4 GW capacity was added worldwide.” You can see in the graph below which countries are leading in solar capacity:
And who’s the leader in wind power? It’s a tight race between China and the United States, but as of January 2015, the US was the clear winner. As written on Clean Technica, “the United States takes first place, delivering over 167 billion kWh of wind energy in 2013, over 20% more than China, which delivered just under 138 billion kWh in 2013.” You can see in the chart below that Germany, who ranked evenly just a decade ago, is now a far third place since the wind power expansion has not improved markedly over the last decade (at least in terms of wind…see below for inspiration from the Deutsch-land!)
But there is so much more! Here are some of the highlights of renewable energy expansion from the beginning months of 2015 and the previous year:
- North America leads the world in terms of recently announced energy storage projects.
- Residential solar sees continually dropping prices across the country
- Energy storage to grow 10x in five years
- California pushes for 50% renewables by 2030
- Renewables are 98% of new energy distribution in US
- Electricity output from renewables has grown eightfold in Germany since 1990, and the latest data further highlights the dramatic shift towards clean energy taking place in Europe’s largest economy.
- German battery maker BMZ, will be quadrupling its production capacity to roughly 5 GWh of energy storage capacity annually by the year 2020
- Germany announces they will abandon all nuclear power by 2020
- New 150MW ground-mounted solar field announced
- Germany invests 30 billion Euros into offshore wind energy projects
- Solar power to comprise 25% of India’s power by 2022.
- 100 GW wind energy capacity planned for 2022
- Another 1 GW solar power plant to be built in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state in India, which is aiming for 3 GW of installed capacity by the end of this year, and 1 GW capacity added every subsequent year.
- 40 GW of solar capacity slated for development in Rajasthan, contributing to India’s plans to have solar power capacity at 100 GW by 2022. If all developers fulfill their commitments Rajasthan would boast at least 40% of this huge solar power infrastructure.
- 750 MW facility is coming online soon
- 100 MW solar PV project planned
- Indian Railways to create 1 GW solar plan
- After smog reaches insanely dangerous levels, China caps coal
- Installed 5.04 GW in the first months for 2015
- China’s offshore wind surges in capacity by almost 500%
- 5GW of distributed solar to be available in 2015
- Residents in the UK love their electric cars: sales jump 300%
- Estimates for solar energy capacity jumps to 4% in England
- 57 MW of solar power connected in UK
- 400 MW offshore wind program planned; great news as wind costs continue to fall
- 1.2 GW offshore wind project planned
- In the UK, wind power also smashed records in 2014
- The city of Vancouver votes to go 100% renewable
- Canada’s first concentrated solar thermal plant to open soon
- The largest carbon capture facility is online in Saskatchewan
- World’s largest floating solar power plants planned for Chiba Prefecture, Japan
- Japan hosts more electric charging stations than gas stations!
- 145 MW capacity offshore wind power parks planned for this year
- 100MW concentrated solar project in progress
- 3 new solar PV plants planned
- Solar and wind projects helped save $69 million dollars in 2014
And some other cool stuff happening around the world:
- Costa Rica is set to become the first sizeable carbon neutral country, after it was 100% powered by renewables for the first 75 days of 2015, and also approved $1billion for a geothermal project last year
- In Scotland, EcoWatch reports that at the beginning of the year, it looked like Scotland was likely going to reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
- In Ireland, EcoWatch celebrates the record-breaking wind energy production in Ireland
- 40% of Spain’s electricity was powered by renewables in March 2015
- Sweden got a 122 MW of solar energy contract awarded
- Norway divests from fossil fuels and invests $8 Billion in renewables
- Egypt is the hot new market for solar, and a 3 GW solar project is planned
- France announces 100% renewables slated for France by 2050
- Dubai invests $3billion to boost solar capacity
- Brazil’s energy minister recently announced intentions to begin a series of floating solar power plants on hydroelectric dam reservoirs within a period of four months, and contracts totaling 1048 MW spread over 31 solar parks planned for Brazil at cost of $1.66 billion
- Denmark set a new world record for wind production in 2014, getting 39.1 percent of its overall electricity from the clean energy source.
- Also in Denmark, 100 new offshore wind turbines helped set a new world record for wind production by getting 39.1 percent of its overall electricity from wind in 2014
- Large floating solar farm installation planned in Korea