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Renewable energy - consumption of the top countries 2019

In 2018, renewable energy consumption in China reached 6.6 exajoules, more than any other country in the world. Renewable sources such as geothermal, wind, solar, biomass, and waste were included in this measurement, while cross-border electricity trade was not taken into account.

Hydropower in China

China is by far the leading consumer of hydropower, with nearly three times the consumption of other leading countries such as Brazil and Canada. Several of the world’s hydroelectric dams with the highest generating capacity are located in China, many of which were constructed in the past two decades. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River was completed in 2012 to become the largest in the world.

Energy consumption in the United States

After China, the United States was the second-highest consumer of renewable energy in the world. Both countries also consumed the most primary energy overall. The United States strives to achieve energy independence in order to reduce imports of foreign energy sources. As renewable energy gains momentum in a fossil-fuel dominated industry, renewable production in the United States has slightly exceeded the country’s consumption in recent years, and additionally, have both more than doubled since 1975.

Leading countries based on renewable energy consumption in 2019 (in exajoules)*

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Based on gross generation from renewable sources including wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste, and not accounting for cross-border electricity supply. Converted on the basis of thermal equivalence assuming 38% conversion efficiency in a modern thermal power station. Excluding hydroelectricity.

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Statistics on "Global renewable energy industry"

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