When we dream about the future, the possibilities are endless. Everyday a new innovation is made, some of these innovations turn out to be impactive to the everyday lives of people. In the process these projects have made dreams a reality through creativity, adaptability and perseverance, and continue to shape the world around us. The most influential renewable energy projects list recognizes renewable energy projects that have transformed the sector and the entire business landscape.
Here are the top 10 most influential renewable energy projects in the world.
1. Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm
The world’s first offshore wind farm–built off the coast of Denmark in 1991–proved such facilities could be economically viable investments.
2. Tengger Desert Solar Park
Dubbed the Great Wall of Solar, Tengger Desert Solar Park is a standout on China’s long list of solar energy projects. Generating an estimated peak output of 1,547 megawatts of power, Tengger was one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world when it opened in 2015–and it’s still growing.
3. Hornsdale Power Reserve
Built by Tesla in 2017, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system charges Australia’s power grid as it ramps up renewable energy production. And it’s already sparking similar projects around the world.
4. Kyoto Protocol
In an effort to bring accountability to government programs around climate change, this international treaty–signed in 1997–committed developed countries to reducing greenhouse gases. The treaty also led to the creation of a carbon trading marketplace.
5. Noor Ouarzazate Power Complex
How will Morocco deliver on its bid to create a 52 percent renewable energy mix by 2030? With high-profile projects like the Noor power plant, the world’s largest solar power plant, the first phase of which was commissioned in 2016.
6. Hellisheidi Power Station
Iceland didn’t become one of the world’s greenest countries through mere happenstance. It took serious investments in projects like Hellisheidi, one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants, which began production in 2006.
7. Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station
Completed in 2011, South Korea’s Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station is the world’s largest tidal power installation, with a generation capacity of 254 megawatts. Twice a day, when the tide is high, water flows from the West Sea to Sihwa Lake via 10 turbines.
Rwanda’s Lake Kivu was nothing more than a dangerous body of water until ContourGlobal built a power plant there in 2015. From there, it began harnessing methane gas from the lake, then using it to create an electricity source that could double the country’s energy capacity by 2020.
9. Walney Extension Wind Farm
Built in the Irish Sea by DONG Energy (now Ørsted) and commissioned in 2018, the world’s largest offshore wind farm generates enough power for over 590,000 homes each year.
10. Itaipu Dam
Since it began operations in 1984, the Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay has produced more than 2.6 billion megawatt hours of energy, making it one of the top power producers of any dam in the world.