Mar 14, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Denmark, Midwest states lead the world in wind and solar

Data: IEA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios
Data: IEA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

HOUSTON--Wind and solar are poised to be the fastest growing electricity sources in the world, and a small handful of European nations and American states are leading the way in increasing shares of these resources.

Driving the news: Mary Elizabeth, Royal Highness Crown Princess of Denmark, touted her nation’s impressive offshore wind resources at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference in Houston on Wednesday.

The intrigue: Addresses like that show how this confab, traditionally known for its oil and gas executive speeches, is slowly evolving to embrace renewable energy and acknowledging how climate change is an existential threat to fossil fuels.

Where it stands: The accompanying chart shows the top shares of wind and solar in the world, according to International Energy Agency data.

  • Denmark has the most by far with 52.4%, with Ireland and Portugal around 25%.
  • America’s windy states are led by those in the middle of the country: Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Yes, but: Hydropower is actually the largest renewable power source currently, accounting for almost two-thirds of global renewable electricity. Numerous countries, including Norway and Brazil, have high penetrations of this carbon-free resource, but hydropower additions have been declining since 2013, according to IEA, whereas wind and solar are increasing significantly.

Go deeper: Tale of four countries: the world’s evolving energy mixes

Go deeper