What countries are leading the charge on renewable energy

Use of energy from renewable or clean sources is on the rise across the world. There have been global efforts to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint with agreements like the Paris Agreement as well as individual mandates for countries. But which countries are leading the way when it comes to energy production? Here are a few standouts:

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a large country (they only have around 4.9 million people). But what they do have is multiple abundant sources of renewable energy. The country uses a combination of hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind. The country is trying to be carbon-neutral by 2021 and had already had some impressive results. In 2016, they ran the entire country off of renewable energy for over two months.


Iceland is the world’s largest clean energy producer per capita. The country is even smaller than Costa Rica with a population of only around 350,000 people. However, their commitment to renewable energy is admirable. Hydropower and geothermal contribute nearly all of their electricity production.


Germany may not be a leader in per capita use of renewable energy, but it has made significant strides in solar energy and renewable energy production. In 2017, in fact, the country set a world record. In May 2017, 85% of the country’s electricity consumption came from renewable sources, including solar. Experts in Germany predict that by 2030, days like that one will be the norm. As of right now, around 6.5% of the country’s energy production comes from solar specifically.


Sweden stated an ambitious goal in 2015: eliminate fossil fuel usage within its borders. Sweden is estimated to consume around 125.4 billion kWh per year and they want that all to come from renewable sources. For another interesting perspective, a new data analysis from a solar power company recently said that if Nebraska was transformed completely into a solar farm, it could power Sweden for a year in just a day. Currently, between 40-50% of Sweden’s energy production comes from renewable sources. They’ve challenged other countries to join them in their zero fossil fuel mandate.


Nicaragua has also made big promises when it comes to renewable energy use. It wants nearly the entire county (90%) to be run off of renewable energy. The country has historically needed foreign imports such as oil to operate and the government aims to change that. As of June 2015, over 50% of the country was run off of renewables.

Countries using renewable sources of energy is a win for everyone. It helps reduce the world’s carbon emissions and also allows countries to not have to depend on others for their energy. As we continue to move into the 21 Century, hopefully this trend of using renewable energy will continue to rise.