Renewable energy continues to be an emphasis around the globe in many countries, more so than in the U.S. Government support and public will are stronger than in the U.S. in those countries.  

It was noted by Worldwatch Institute that even during the economic recession and public finance problems, renewable energy use has increased. In 2010, “for the first time, developing country investments in renewable energy surpassed those of the developed world,” Worldwatch reported.

China led the world in increasing its renewable energy by 26 percent. The U.S. had a 5 percent increase in 2010, it was reported.

For the world, fossil fuel use continued to grow slightly and nuclear fuel use shrank.

“Today, renewables already supply 16 percent of global primary energy consumption and 20 percent of worldwide electricity,” Worldwatch reported.

Of the European countries, Germany appears to be leading the conversion to renewable fuels as it had a 10.4 percent increase in renewable energy in 2010, according to Worldwatch.

As the Great Plains Institute reported last week, Germany’s population has committed to a plan for having 60 percent of all energy needs being renewable by 2050 and 80 percent of all electricity production from renewables. This goal is in addition to reducing energy consumption overall.

Complaints about switching to renewable fuels seem quite prevalent in the U.S., especially if there is any cost increase over energy from non-renewables. But Great Plains Institute Executive Director Rolf Norstrom wrote that a majority of Germans answering a recent poll don’t think they are paying enough to assure clean energy from renewables. And this is by a population reportedly paying about three times the price for electricity of U.S. citizens.

In the German poll, clean energy was the emphasis. It is highly unlikely that most any poll in the U.S. would obtain the percentages of the German poll reported.

The question asked those polled was whether or not they are paying enough for energy. And the answers were as follows:

  • 25 percent said they don’t think they are paying enough to accelerate the shift to clean energy.
  • 56 percent think they are paying about the right amount.
  • 16 percent think they are paying too much.
  • 5 percent don’t know.