In a sign of the shift away from fossil fuels that is beginning to emerge in some regions, the G-20 countries collectively produced 8% of their electricity from solar, wind and other green power plants in 2015, compared to 4 , 6% in 2010.
Seven G20 members now generate more than 10% of their electricity from these sources, compared to the three economies that did in 2010.
These seven are led by Germany, home to the Energiewende, a policy shift towards green energy. Renewables account for 36% of its electricity mix, according to data compiled for the Financial Times by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) research group.
The UK, Italy, and France generated more than 19% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, while Australia and Brazil reached 11% and 13%, respectively. For the 28 members of the EU, the average increase was 18%.
The figures do not include hydroelectric power, one of the oldest sources of renewable energy.
Instead, the data highlights the growth of new forms of green energy, such as solar and wind farms that have been heavily subsidized in many countries as governments try to combat global warming.
This growth has been especially striking in the UK, which generated 24% of its electricity from these renewable sources last year compared to just 6% in 2010.
Yet fossil fuels continue to dominate electricity supplies in many countries, including the United States and China, two of the most powerful advocates of the UN climate change agreement that was signed in Paris last December.
China is the world's largest market for clean energy, accounting for nearly a third of the $ 329 billion invested in clean energy worldwide last year, at a time when the government continues to boost its energy industry. renewable.
Goldwind, a Chinese company, became the largest manufacturer of wind turbines in 2015, ending more than 30 years of supremacy that the United States and Europe have had in the industry. Chinese solar panel companies have long been leaders in the solar energy sector. Despite this, renewable energy plants such as wind and solar farms only accounted for 5% of the mix of electricity that China produced last year, according to BNEF figures, a percentage very similar to India, Mexico and Japan. This is because China added "substantial" power generation capacity from coal during that five-year period, explained BNEF analyst Abraham Louw.
In the United States, fossil fuels continue to lead the country's electricity mix. BNEF research showed that non-hydro renewables accounted for only 8% of the total last year. However, that percentage is much higher than that of Saudi Arabia and Russia, where the use and production of new renewables remain negligible.
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