Who Produces The Most Green Energy?

Green energy, also known as renewable energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. Sources of green energy include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Green energy is important because it produces little to no greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to climate change. Additionally, renewable energy sources are sustainable and inexhaustible unlike fossil fuels which are finite. As the world confronts climate change and seeks to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, there is growing interest in which countries produce the most green energy.

This article will examine the top producers of renewable energy and provide statistics on their total green energy production. Understanding the global green energy landscape can reveal best practices and inform further investment and development of renewable energy worldwide.

Measuring Green Energy Production

Green energy production is typically measured in one of two key ways: total renewable energy production or the percentage of energy from renewable sources.

Total renewable energy production refers to the absolute amount of energy generated from renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass. This is often measured in units like kilowatt-hours (kWh), megawatt-hours (MWh) or gigawatt-hours (GWh), which indicate the amount of electrical energy produced over time (1 kWh = using 1 kW of power for 1 hour) (Solar Schools).

The percentage of energy from renewables looks at renewable energy production as a share of total energy production or consumption in a country or region. For example, the U.S. got 12% of its total energy from renewable sources in 2019 (EIA). This helps compare the growth and adoption of renewables across different countries.

Governments, companies and organizations may use other indicators too like renewable energy capacity in MW or GW installed and policies adopted to encourage renewable energy growth (LinkedIn). But total production and share of renewables are two of the most common ways to measure green energy progress.


China is currently the world’s largest producer of renewable energy. According to Reuters, China generated over 1,200 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity in 2021, which accounted for 34% of the world’s total renewable power generation [1]. Renewable energy, including hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear power, accounted for 50.9% of China’s total electricity generation capacity in 2022, up from 44.7% in 2020, according to Yale Environment 360 [2]. This rapid growth in renewable energy production is part of China’s push to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

United States

The United States generated over 13 quadrillion BTU of renewable energy in 2021, which accounted for about 12.6% of total U.S. energy production that year (EIA). This includes energy from biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind sources. The percentage of U.S. electricity generated from renewable sources has increased over time, reaching almost 20% in 2020 (UMich). The growth has been driven by expansions in solar and wind power. The U.S. aims to reach 30% renewable electricity by 2030 as part of its climate goals.


Germany is one of the world leaders in renewable energy production. In 2021, Germany generated 256 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity from renewable sources, accounting for 42% of the country’s gross electricity consumption (1). This included 135 TWh from wind, 51 TWh from solar PV, 43 TWh from biomass, and 25 TWh from hydropower (2).

In the first half of 2022, renewables accounted for 51.7% of Germany’s electricity generation, up from 46.4% in first half of 2021 (3). Germany is aiming to increase the share of renewables in gross electricity consumption to 65% by 2030 as part of its energy transition plan (Energiewende) (1). The country has invested heavily in wind and solar power to phase out nuclear power and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

However, Germany faces challenges meeting its renewable energy goals due to permitting delays, land constraints, and opposition from local residents. Despite being a leader, critics argue Germany must accelerate the pace of its energy transition to fully phase out coal and nuclear power.


India has made significant strides in expanding its renewable energy production in recent years. As of 2022, India had an installed renewable energy capacity of 163 GW, accounting for 40% of its total installed power capacity.[1] This includes 63.1 GW of solar energy capacity and 40.5 GW of wind energy capacity.

In terms of percentage of energy from renewables, India generated 11% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2021. The government has set ambitious targets to raise this to 50% by 2030 as part of its climate change mitigation efforts.[2] Thanks to supportive policies and decreasing costs, solar energy is expected to account for the majority of new capacity additions going forward.


Japan has made steady progress in increasing its renewable energy production and percentage in recent years. According to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), the share of renewables in Japan’s total electricity generation reached 22.7% in 2022, up from 20.2% in 2021 [1]. This represents a significant increase from about 16% in 2018.

In specific terms, Japan generated approximately 21.8% of its electricity from renewable sources in fiscal year 2021, which equates to 104.2 TWh. This is up from 19.7% and 95 TWh in fiscal 2020 [2]. The main renewable energy sources are hydropower at 8.2%, solar at 7.1%, biomass at 3.3%, wind at 1.6%, and geothermal at 0.9%.

solar panels on roof generating renewable energy

While fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas still make up most of Japan’s energy supply, the country has set ambitious targets to continue increasing renewables. The latest Strategic Energy Plan aims for 24% of power from renewables by 2030. Ongoing growth in solar, wind and other green energy sources will be key to reaching this goal.


Brazil is one of the world’s leading producers of renewable energy. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy meets almost 45% of Brazil’s primary energy demand, making it a global leader in renewables. The country has vast hydropower resources and is the second largest producer of ethanol biofuels in the world.

In 2021, renewable energy sources accounted for approximately 78.1% of Brazil’s electricity generation, according to Statista. This was down slightly from 83.8% in 2020 [1]. Hydropower is Brazil’s predominant renewable electricity source, supplying around 65% of the country’s power in 2021. Wind, biomass, and solar energy are also growing electricity sources in Brazil.

The Brazilian government aims to expand renewable energy further. Under its National Energy Plan 2050, Brazil is targeting 45% of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2050, with wind and solar leading growth. With its Renewable Energy Incentive Program, Brazil also wants non-hydropower renewables to reach at least 48% of the power supply by 2050 [2].

Other Top Producers

According to a report by Climate Council(1) some other countries making significant contributions to renewable energy production include Spain, Italy, and Australia. Spain generated over 38% of its electricity from renewables in 2020. Italy produced 34% of its electricity from renewables in 2019. Australia currently gets 23% of its electricity from renewable sources, with ambitious plans to reach 82% by 2030.

An article by Energy Digital(2) also lists some other top renewable energy producers like Costa Rica, Denmark, and Uruguay. Costa Rica met 99% of its energy needs from renewables in 2016. Denmark produced 43% of its power from renewables in 2019. And Uruguay generated 97.9% of its electricity from renewables in 2015.


We have seen that the top producers of green energy in the world are China, the United States, Germany, India, Japan and Brazil. China leads the way by far, accounting for over 30% of the world’s total renewable energy production. The United States comes in second, producing just under 20% of the global total. Germany, India, Japan and Brazil round out the top producers, each generating between 3-7% of total renewable energy.

The outlook for renewable energy continues to be positive, as costs fall and more countries invest in wind, solar and other green technologies to reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. China is expected to maintain its dominance, while the US and EU aim to accelerate deployments of renewables. Developing nations like India, Brazil and countries in Africa also have major expansion plans to bring electricity to underserved populations. If these trends hold, the share of renewables as part of the global energy mix will continue rising rapidly in the years ahead.

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