Understanding the Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Usage

Rodney Wiltshire

May 30, 2023

Renewable energy has gained significant attention in recent years as a viable solution to combat climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The transition to renewable energy sources is crucial for a sustainable future. However, it is essential to understand the current state of renewable energy usage worldwide. In this article, we will explore the global landscape of renewable energy and delve into the progress made so far.

The Growing Adoption of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power, have steadily gained momentum in the global energy mix. Nations worldwide are increasingly recognizing the potential of these clean energy sources and implementing strategies to maximize their utilization. This shift is driven by a combination of factors, including environmental concerns, technological advancements, and economic incentives.

Solar Power Shining Bright

Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources globally. Falling costs of solar panels and increased efficiency have played a significant role in its adoption. Countries like China, the United States, and India have emerged as leaders in solar power capacity. In 2020 alone, solar energy installations reached a record high, accounting for around 50% of newly installed energy capacity worldwide.

Wind Energy Gaining Momentum

Wind power has also experienced remarkable growth in recent years. Wind farms are becoming more common, especially in favorable wind conditions. Countries like China, the United States, Germany, and India are at the forefront of wind energy production. Offshore wind farms are increasingly being developed, harnessing the solid and consistent winds over the oceans. In 2020, wind power installations accounted for around 35% of newly installed energy capacity globally.

Hydro and Geothermal Power as Steady Contributors

Hydropower, derived from flowing water, has been a reliable energy source for many decades. Large-scale hydroelectric projects, such as dams, have contributed significantly to the global energy mix. Countries like China, Brazil, and the United States have substantial hydropower capacity. Geothermal energy, which utilizes heat from the Earth’s core, is another consistent and sustainable power source. Geothermal power plants exist in countries with geologically active regions, including the United States, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Government Policies and Targets

The growth of renewable energy is closely linked to government policies and targets. Many countries have implemented ambitious energy targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development. For instance, the European Union aims to achieve 32% energy consumption by 2030. China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has set targets to increase the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 20% by 2030.

Challenges and Opportunities

While renewable energy usage is on the rise, several challenges remain. The intermittency of solar and wind power requires efficient energy storage solutions to ensure a continuous and reliable energy supply. Additionally, the transition to energy requires significant upfront investments and support infrastructure development.

However, these challenges also present opportunities. The renewable energy sector drives job creation, innovation, and economic growth. It fosters the development of new technologies and industries, such as battery storage, electric vehicles, and smart grids. By investing in energy, countries can enhance energy security, mitigate climate change impacts, and promote sustainable economic development.


The world is witnessing a rapid increase in the use of renewable energy sources. Solar and wind power have emerged as dominant players, while hydro and geothermal energy continue to make regular contributions. Government policies and targets are crucial in driving the transition to renewable energy. Despite the challenges faced, the opportunities for a sustainable future are immense. Continued investment, technological advancements, and international cooperation will be vital in accelerating the adoption of renewable energy and achieving a cleaner and more resilient world.