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Which country is the world leader in renewable energy in 2021?

Norway is the leading country in renewable energy usage in the world
Norway is the leading country in renewable energy usage in the world   -   Copyright  Canva
By Maeve Campbell

Norway is the country with the highest share of renewable energy in the world, according to new data.

A study by energy tariff comparison platform Utility Bidder reveals the top 20 countries in the clean energy field, as well as those which rely most on fossil fuels.

The fossil fuels measured were coal, oil and natural gas, while renewable sources were biofuels and waste, wind, solar and hydro. The figures were sourced from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

56 per cent of Norway’s total energy usage comes from renewable sources, while the UK ranks 20th with clean energy only accounting for a dismal 13 per cent.

What do Norway, Brazil and New Zealand have in common?

These three countries are all world leaders when it comes to renewable energy. They came first, second and third respectively in the rankings.

Norway utilises hydropower more than any other country around the globe - it accounts for 45 per cent of its supply alone. The Nordic country is known for its many steep valleys and rivers, as well as increased rainfall due to climate change, meaning hydroelectricity is bountiful.

With the second highest supply of renewable energy, Brazil is the leader in biofuel and waste energy. These sources account for 32 per cent of its total energy supply.

It is the second-largest producer of ethanol fuel and is an industry leader, with sugarcane-based ethanol being touted as the most successful alternative fuel to date.

Utility bidder
The countries that use the highest share of renewable energy in the worldUtility bidder

Renewable energy sources account for 42 per cent of New Zealand's energy supply. It is a world leader in wind and solar energy which make up 25 per cent of its energy supply.

Situated in the path of the ‘Roaring Forties’, a set of strong and constant westerly winds, the nation is perfectly positioned for wind power. It enjoys plenty of sunshine for solar energy too, as well as having an increasing market for solar hot water heating systems.

Which five countries are most reliant on fossil fuels?

With 98 per cent reliance on fossil fuels, Singapore comes out as the worst in the world.

The country uses the highest proportion of oil in the world relative to total energy supply, with fossil fuels making up 73 per cent of its energy supply. It is home to major oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, due to its ideal trading location and perceived safe environment.

Singapore is closely followed by Australia, with 93 per cent reliance, and then South Africa with 91 per cent.

Luxembourg and the Netherlands take fourth and fifth spot with a joint 90 per cent fossil fuel dependence.

Utility Bidder
The countries that use the highest share of fossil fuelsUtility Bidder

The Netherlands has the highest supply of natural gas of any other country on the list. Fifty per cent of this comes from the Groningen gas field, the largest in Europe.

However, the Dutch government has committed to stop regular production from the Groningen field by 2022.