Countries in Southern Africa producing more renewables than the UK


The most recent statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have found that the UK has consistently improved in its production of renewables and currently generates 33% of its total electricity from renewable sources.

Despite this, renewables only account for 11% of the UK’s final consumption – far from the 2020 target of 20%. In contrast, the majority of Southern African nations are generating close to, if not 100% renewable energy.

Angola, Zambia and Namibia are just some of the Southern African countries that are producing at least double the percentage of the UK.

Energy experts Business Electricity Prices (BEP) have analysed recent global data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and have created an interactive map to visualise how much renewable energy each country generates and how much renewables impacts their fuel mix.  

According to BEP:

  • 2018 was another record-breaking year for renewable energy production, yet official figures indicate that the UK will miss its national 2020 target.
  • There are 58 countries that generate a higher percentage of renewable energy than the UK.
  • Iceland, Paraguay, Albania and even The Democratic Republic of Congo produce 100% renewable energy.
  • Countries in Southern Africa like DRC and Namibia both made the top ten list.

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Countries that have the cleanest fuel mix

CountryShare of energy generated by renewables
The Democratic Republic of Congo100%
Costa Rica97.7%

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Across the globe, nations are producing nothing but renewables. With four countries already hitting the coveted 100% mark, there are a number of others who are proudly placed at over 90%. Countries in Southern Africa, for example, are performing disproportionately well with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique all generating a fuel mix of at least 50% renewable energy. 

The UK, on the other hand, is not only missing from the top 10 but sits at a disappointing 59th position. What’s more interesting is that the majority of countries that position higher than the UK are less developed and more impoverished nations. 

But how did they do it?

If the UK has any hopes of hitting its 2020 energy targets, or its legally-binding goal of being net-zero by 2050, some serious developments need to be made.

BEP has explored how the top green countries have committed to renewable energy resources, and how harnessing all of a country’s natural resources could be how the rest of the world catches up.