Most countries have set high goals for the utilization of renewable energy by the middle of the century, but present day usage of alternative sources of energy is dominated by the developed nations such as the United States, Germany, Spain and Denmark, with Brazil and China leading the developing nations. Hydroelectric power is the dominant renewable energy due to its widespread use but wind energy and solar power are fast growing forms of alternative sources of energy.Largest Producers of Hydroelectric Power
According to BP Statistical Review Full Report 2009, published by Beacon Press in June 2009, the Three Gorges Dam helped China become the largest producer of hydroelectric power:
China has 171 gigawatts (GW) of installed hydroelectric capacity.The United States has 79 GW.Although Norway is only ninth in installed capacity, it produces over 98% of all its electricity from hydroelectric power, while China, at number one with 171 GW of installed capacity produces just under 18% of its electricity needs from hydro.Largest Producers of Wind Energy
Figures from IEA Wind Energy Annual Report 2008, published by the International Energy Agency in June 2009 shows that, except for China and India, the developed world dominates the top ten wind energy users:
The United States has an installed capacity of 25,369 Megawatts (MW).Germany, with 23,902 MW is in second place.Spain comes third with 16,740 MW.The United Kingdom has 3,331 MW.Largest Producers of Nuclear Energy
Many environmentalists would question the inclusion of nuclear fuel as a renewable source of energy, but there is no doubt that it is a virtually carbon free alternative to fossil fuels. Figures from Key World Energy Statistics, 2009, published by the International Energy Agency in December 2009 show that the countries with the highest installed capacity, are:
The United States has 106 gigawatts (GW) installed.In all, the world has 372 GW of installed nuclear capacity.Largest Producers of Biofuels
Renewables Global Status Report: 2009 Update, published in December 2009 by REN21 has the United States as the worlds largest producer of biofuels in 2008:
The United States produced 36 billion liters of biofuels.Brazil produced 28 billion liters.France produced 3 billion liters.Germany produced 2.7 billion liters.China produced 2 billion liters.In all, the world produced just less than 80 billion liters of biofuels.Largest Producers of Solar Power
Renewables Global Status Report: 2009 Update states that, Grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) continued to be the fastest growing power generation technology, with a 70 percent increase in existing capacity to 13 GW in 2008. The largest producers of solar power are:
Germany has 5,400 grid connected megawatts (MW).The United States has 830 MW.In all, there is nearly 13,000 grid connected solar PV megawatts available worldwide.
It is important to note that many of the worlds largest producers of alternative energy are also the worlds largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also important to note that despite the increased use of renewable energies, alternative sources of energy, including nuclear power make up just less than 14% of the worlds total energy use.