Investment in green energy is on the rise, and a world powered entirely by renewables is no longer a distant dream, with a handful of countries hitting 100% renewable electricity production.
But while Portugal ran on renewable energy alone for four days and clean energy accounted for 33% of Germany’s power use in 2015, it is developing countries, and China in particular, driving this green revolution.
And these charts, from the REN21 Renewables 2016 Global Status report and the United Nations Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 report, show how China is paving the way to a clean energy future.
1. China has the highest capacity for renewable power production
This chart shows the leading role China is already playing in the green revolution. It currently makes up about a quarter of the global capacity for renewable power, predominantly through wind power.
2. China takes the lead in wind power production
China is also the country with the most wind power capacity, and its lead over the US, in second place, increased by over 30 gigawatts in 2015.
3. Solar power is booming in China
The year 2015 saw huge growth in China’s solar power production. It moved into first place, ahead of previous solar leader Germany.
4. China is the biggest investor in renewable energy
In 2015, China had the biggest financial commitment to renewable energy, investing over $100 billion, an increase from $3 billion just over 10 years ago.
5. China helped push developing countries into the lead
Globally, $286 billion was invested in renewable power and fuels (not including hydro power) in 2015, and for the first time the developing world invested more than developed countries.
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