Study shows the countries leading the world’s charge towards renewable energy

(Image credit: Getty)

According to new data from Utility Bidder, Norway has the highest share of renewable energy in the world. 

According to the study, 56% of the country’s total energy use comes from renewable sources. By contrast, the UK ranked 20th in the study, with only 13% of the country’s power coming from renewables.

The study measured each country’s use of coal, oil and natural gas. It also measured renewable sources like biofuels and waste, wind, solar and hydro. All figures were sourced from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Norway, Brazil and New Zealand are leading the way

The study showed that Norway, Brazil and New Zealand came first, second and third in the rankings respectively and are currently leading the world’s charge towards 100% renewable energy.

The study found that Norway uses more hydropower than anywhere else in the world, with this source of power accounting for 45% of the country’s power supply.

By contrast, Brazil is the leader when it comes to biofuel and waste energy. Combined, these sources account for 32% of the country’s total energy supply.

Similarly, while 42% of all New Zealand’s energy comes from renewable sources, 25% of its total supply comes from wind and solar energy alone.

Overall, the study shows how well these world leaders are using their natural resources and climate. For example, Norway’s steep valleys and rivers provide the perfect environment for the use of hydroelectricity, while New Zealand, which is in the path of constant westerly winds, is ideally positioned for wind power.

By contrast, it’s also clear that there are a number of countries around the world that remain almost entirely reliant on fossil fuels. Singapore, for example, gets 98% of its energy from fossil fuels. It’s closely followed by Australia (93%) and South Africa (91%).

How can the UK improve?

Overall, the UK placed 20th on the list of best-performing countries. However, with only 13% of its energy coming from renewable sources, it’s clear that much more needs to be done for the country to challenge the top three.

Thankfully, the government has plans in place to make the UK a leader in green energy and, by 2050, it’s hoped that the country will have net zero emissions.

To help with this, the government is largely focused on offshore wind. By 2030, it’s estimated that this source of energy will produce enough electricity to power every home in the UK. To help facilitate this, wind farms will be built in deeper waters in the North Sea.

At present, the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, with around 10GW in operation off its coasts.

How consumers can help

Although the government’s plan to harness the power of offshore wind will undoubtedly help the country’s energy system become cleaner, customers can take steps today to ensure that the energy their home uses is green and renewable.

Today, many of the country’s best energy suppliers offer 100% renewable electricity as standard. Plus, on top of this, deals like these from providers like Bulb and Octopus are usually among the cheapest on the market.

If you’re unsure whether your current tariff provides green energy, then you can contact your supplier and ask to be switched to one of their green tariffs. If they do not have one or you’re concerned about cost, then run an online energy comparison.

By providing a few basic details about your home and your energy use, you’ll be able to see the best energy deals available in your area. Following this, you can filter your results so that you only see tariffs with 100% renewable electricity. The process of switching only takes a couple of minutes and you can save hundreds of pounds.

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Tom Brook

Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over seven years' experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.