I can’t remember where I ran across these — I think a reader shared them with me — but I started going through a bunch of old drafts of articles I wanted to write but never got to last night (Spring cleaning, I guess) and ran across them again. Basically, the image and tables below show how renewable electricity generation has changed over the years. Visit the German website I got all this from for more.
As you can see, up until the late 1990s, the only renewable energy source for electricity generation that was at all significant was hydro power.
In the middle to late 1990s, wind power started growing and had grown to a significant share of the electricity supply by the early 2000s. In 2003, it surpassed hydro power for the #1 renewable energy source for electricity, and has held that position up until today.
Biomass has also grown a lot in the 2000s, and it passed up hydro in 2007.
Solar started growing later, but you can see that its big boom in 2010 and 2011 has resulted in it becoming a major player now, as well.
Of course, the chart also shows Germany’s significant renewable energy growth (in the electricity sector) overall.
For more details, here are tables to go with the image:
Interesting stuff. Let me know if more thoughts pop into your head from looking at this. And let me know if you have similar charts and stats for other countries that you think would be worth a share!