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5 february 2020

The global top ten countries driving the energy transition

The Australian NGO The Climate Council* has updated its list of countries most active in terms of generating electricity from renewable sources. It sets out their achievements along with the commitments that have already been or will be made.

Since 2016, the Climate Council has been highlighting the countries around the world that are determinedly implementing the energy transition. Ten countries featured on the list back in 2016. In late 2019, they have all consolidated their leader position

            - Sweden will achieve zero-carbon electricity production by 2040. To date it is the only country in the world to have set itself such a target.

            - In Costa Rica, 95% of electricity is now produced using renewables. The country is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2021. 

            - Nicaragua has been doubling its efforts since 2012 to become less dependent on fossil fuels. This Latin American country remains one of the top five investors in renewable energy as a ratio of its gross domestic product**(GDP). It is looking to accelerate the energy transition, primarily relying on wind, solar and geothermal sources. In 2018, 50% of its electricity was already produced by renewable power. The goal remains 97% by 2027***.

            - In October 2019, Scotland met 98% of its electricity needs through wind power.

            - In the first half of 2018, Germany produced enough green energy to cover the consumption needs of every household in the country for one year. From 2030, 65% of its electricity will be produced by renewable energy sources.

            - Almost 100% of Uruguay’s electricity now comes from renewables. This result was achieved in the space of ten years!  

            - In 2017, half of Danish electricity production came from wind and solar power. And 43% of the national electricity consumption was from wind power, a world record to date. As of 2050, Denmark is set to no longer use fossil fuels to run its national power grid.

            - 45% of global renewables investment comes from China. China has committed to injecting 35% renewable energy sources into electricity production by 2030.

            - Despite a fossil fuel-friendly federal policy, the solar power sector in the United States now employs more people than the coal and nuclear industries.

            - In Kenya, over 50% of electricity production was covered by geothermal power in 2019, compared to 13% in 2010. The energy mix is also making progress since the recent installation of one of the largest wind farms in Africa (310 MW), bringing the renewables share in national electricity production up to 70%. 

 

*The Climate Council was founded in 2003. It is made up of researchers, volunteers for the most part. It offers to provide climate change solutions to Australian public institutions. Its area of expertise covers a wide range of specialties: climate, renewable energy, health, and public policy management.

 

**13 billion US dollars in 2018 for a population of 6 million. Source IEA.

 

***RENEWABLES 2019 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT, REN 21, p.195, 2019.

 

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