Countries that Run on Renewable Energy

There’s a long list of countries that get their energy from renewable sources.

Green Lifestyle
5 min read

In a world where doom and gloom is the order of the day when addressing environmental issues, it’s encouraging to take a look at just how far renewable energy sources have come. In fact, there is a long list of countries that get the lion’s share of their energy from renewable sources and many more who are on the road to sustainable energy.

There are a remarkably large number of countries that are running off green energy that you probably haven’t heard of. In part, it’s because there is some controversy over what qualifies as ‘green energy’ since many of these countries utilize hydro energy which may not produce greenhouse gases, but can cause damage to the environment.

Hydro and geothermal energies are sometimes omitted because they are ‘older’ technologies and may not be included to prevent people from becoming complacent about the move to renewable energy sources. But when we do include hydro and geothermal, we find a few gems who are doing it right.


An incredible 85% of the country’s heat is supplied by the volcano on which it is built. When you add hydro to this geothermal base, you get a 100% of energy supplied by renewable sources.


Its large-scale hydroelectric grid enables Albania to get about 85% of its energy from renewable sources.


Thanks to the Itaipu dam, Paraguay gets about 90% of its electricity from hydro. It also supplies about 19% of Brazil’s energy from this hydroelectric source which took 30 years and $20 billion to build.


The Lesotho Highlands Water Project enables this small African country to run off 100% renewable energy.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica operated at 99% renewable energy in 2015 thanks to its extensive hydro energy infrastructure. Not only did residents enjoy the health and environmental benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions, they also got a 12% reduction in the price of energy.

There are a number of other countries deserving of honorable mentions:

Denmark got 39.1% of its energy from renewable sources in 2014. On track to reach its goal of 50% renewables by 2020, Denmark aims to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Germany’s move to renewable energy is perhaps the best documented energy revolution since it turned its back on nuclear energy after the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant. By 2014, Germany was running on 27% renewable energy with more in the summer months thanks to its investment in solar energy.

Scotland’s innovative harvesting of tidal energy in addition to its wind and hydro energy meant renewables produced nearly one third more power than nuclear, coal or gas in the first six months of 2014. Scotland is on track to producing 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. 

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