The use of renewable energy sources (geothermal, solar, wave and wind) was only 1.3% of all the global energy used last year (2011). This may not sounds like much, but it is actually up 15.5% from the year before. The reason behind this increase can be found in new legislations around the world, increasing private investment and of course commitment from countires around the world to reduce their carbon footprint.
Also, it is very likely that as nations are trying to stay independent of foreign energy sources they are turning more towards renewable energy, like geothermal energy.
Here you can find a list of the top 5 countries that use renewable energy the most.
Number 5: Brazil (~ 5% of the world total)
Brazil is well known for it’s production of biofuel. Brazil is also investing a lot of money in the wind sector since 2099 when they came out with government auctions for contracts. On top of this Brazil is is deeply involved with developing new technologies like solar water heating. Foreign investors might find the perfect place for their money because Brazil is developing in renewable energy sources. Also, there is a pledge to have solar power in the venues (all 12) for the 2014 World Cup.
Number 4: China (~ 7.6% of the world total)
is the largest energy consumer and second-largest net importer of oil (as of 2009). China is also the global leader in clean energy sector investment, around 17-20% of China’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2007.
Number 3: Spain (7.8% of the world total)
, in April wind power became the highest source of electricity generation in the country. Spain produces and installs wind turbines not only in spanish land, but also abroad, including the U.S.
Number 2: Germany (11.7% of the world total)
came after the Fukushima incident. The German renewable energy sector is aided by the Renewable Energy Sources Act which makes it mandatory for grid operators to pay for renewable energy fed into the power grid. People who produce renewable energy can sell their ‘product’ at fixed prices for a period of 20 or 15 years.
Number 1: United States (24.7% of the world total)
Alternative energy sources are increasing in the United States due to federal, state, and local tax and other incentives (like the 30% geothermal tax credit which expires at the end of 2016) as well as mandated state goals. Unfortunately the US is still significantly behindin terms of investment intensity.