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Mapped: Asia’s Biggest Sources of Electricity by Country

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Mapped: Asia’s Biggest Sources of Electricity by Country

Mapped: Asia’s Biggest Sources of Electricity by Country

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that Asia will account for half of the world’s electricity consumption by 2025, with one-third of global electricity being consumed in China.

To explore how this growing electricity demand is currently being met, the above graphic maps out Asia’s main sources of electricity by country, using data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy and the IEA.

A Coal-Heavy Electricity Mix

Although clean energy has been picking up pace in Asia, coal currently makes up more than half of the continent’s electricity generation.

No Asian countries rely on wind, solar, or nuclear energy as their primary source of electricity, despite the combined share of these sources doubling over the last decade.

% of total electricity mix, 2011% of total electricity mix, 2021 
Coal55%52% 
Natural Gas19%17%
Hydro12%14%
Nuclear5%5%
Wind1%4%
Solar0%4%
Oil6%2%
Biomass1%2%
Total Electricity Generated9,780 terawatt-hours15,370 terawatt-hours

The above comparison shows that the slight drops in the continent’s reliance on coal, natural gas, and oil in the last decade have been absorbed by wind, solar, and hydropower. The vast growth in total electricity generated, however, means that a lot more fossil fuels are being burned now (in absolute terms) than at the start of the last decade, despite their shares dropping.

Following coal, natural gas comes in second place as Asia’s most used electricity source, with most of this demand coming from the Middle East and Russia.

Zooming in: China’s Big Electricity Demand

While China accounted for just 5% of global electricity demand in 1990, it is en route to account for 33% by 2025. The country is already the largest electricity producer in the world by far, annually generating nearly double the electricity produced by the second largest electricity producer in the world, the United States.

With such a large demand, the current source of China’s electricity is worthy of consideration, as are its plans for its future electricity mix.

Currently, China is one of the 14 Asian countries that rely on coal as its primary source of electricity. In 2021, the country drew 62% of its electricity from coal, a total of 5,339 TWh of energy. To put that into perspective, this is approximately three times all of the electricity generated in India in the same year.

Following coal, the remainder of China’s electricity mix is as follows.

Source% of total electricity mix (China, 2021) 
Coal62%
Hydropower15%
Wind8%
Nuclear5%
Solar4%
Natural Gas3%
Biomass2%

Despite already growing by 1.5x in the last decade, China’s demand for electricity is still growing. Recent developments in the country’s clean energy infrastructure point to most of this growth being met by renewables.

China does also have ambitious plans in place for its clean energy transition beyond the next few years. These include increasing its solar capacity by 667% between 2025 and 2060, as well as having wind as its primary source of electricity by 2060.

Asia’s Road to Clean Energy

According to the IEA, the world reached a new all-time high in power generation-related emissions in 2022, primarily as a result of the growth in fossil-fuel-generated electricity in the Asia Pacific.

With that said, these emissions are set to plateau by 2025, with a lot of the global growth in renewables and nuclear power being seen in Asia.

Currently, nuclear power is of particular interest in the continent, especially with 2022’s energy crisis highlighting the need for energy independence and security. India, for instance, is set to have an 80% growth in its nuclear electricity generation in the next two years, with Japan, South Korea, and China following suit in increasing their nuclear capacity.

The road ahead also hints at other interesting insights, specifically when it comes to hydropower in Asia. With heatwaves and droughts becoming more and more commonplace as a result of climate change, the continent may be poised to learn some lessons from Europe’s record-low hydropower generation in 2022, diverting its time and resources to other forms of clean energy, like wind and solar.

Whatever the future holds, one thing is clear: with ambitious plans already underway, Asia’s electricity mix may look significantly different within the next few decades.

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Energy Shift

Ranked: The Most Carbon-Intensive Sectors in the World

Comparing average Scope 1 emission intensities by sector, according to an analysis done by S&P Global Inc.

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Ranked: The Most Carbon-Intensive Sectors in the World

Ever wonder which sectors contribute the most to CO2 emissions around the world?

In this graphic, we explore the answers to that question by comparing average Scope 1 emission intensities by sector, according to an analysis done by S&P Global Inc.

Defining Scope 1 Emissions

Before diving into the data, it may be useful to understand what Scope 1 emissions entail.

Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by a company, such as their facilities and vehicles.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Scope 1 emissions can do a good job of highlighting a company’s environmental footprint because they represent the direct emissions related to manufacturing or creating a company’s products, whether they are tangible goods, digital software, or services.

Scope 2 and 3 emissions, on the other hand, encompass the indirect emissions associated with a company’s activities, including those from a company’s purchased electricity, leased assets, or investments.

Ranking the Carbon Giants

According to S&P Global’s analysis of 2019-2020 average emissions intensity by sector, utilities is the most carbon-intensive sector in the world, emitting a staggering 2,634 tonnes of CO2 per $1 million of revenue.

Materials and energy sectors follow behind, with 918 tonnes and 571 tonnes of CO2 emitted, respectively.

SectorSector ExplanationScope 1 CO2 emissions per $1M of revenue, 2019-2020
UtilitiesElectric, gas, and water utilities and independent producers2,634 tonnes
MaterialsChemicals, construction materials, packaging, metals, and mining918 tonnes
EnergyOil and gas exploration/production and energy equipment571 tonnes
IndustrialsCapital goods, commercial services, and transportation194 tonnes
Consumer staplesFood, household goods, and personal products90 tonnes
Consumer discretionaryAutomobiles, consumer durables, apparel, and retailing33 tonnes
Real estateReal estate and real estate management31 tonnes
Information technologySoftware, technology hardware, and semiconductors24 tonnes
FinancialsBanks, insurance, and diversified financials19 tonnes
Communication servicesTelecommunication, media, and entertainment9 tonnes
Health careHealth care equipment, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences7 tonnes

S&P Global also reveals some interesting insights when it comes to various industries within the materials sector, including:

  • Cement manufacturing exhibits an extremely high level of Scope 1 emissions, emitting more than double the emissions from the utilities sector (5,415 tonnes of CO2 per $1M of revenue)
  • Aluminum and steel production are also quite emission-intensive, emitting 1,421 and 1,390 tonnes respectively in 2019-2020
  • Relatively lower-emission materials such as gold, glass, metals and paper products bring down the average emissions of the materials sector

Given these trends, a closer look at emission-intensive industries and sectors is necessary for our urgent need to decarbonize the global economy.

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Energy Shift

Ranked: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers

Just three countries—the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia—make up the lion’s share of global oil supply. Here are the world’s biggest oil producers.

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Oil by Country

Ranked: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers

This visualization originally appeared on Visual Capitalist

In 2022 oil prices peaked at more than $100 per barrel, hitting an eight-year high, after a full year of turmoil in the energy markets in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Oil companies doubled their profits and the economies of the biggest oil producers in the world got a major boost.

But which countries are responsible for most of the world’s oil supply? Using data from the Statistical Review of World Energy by the Energy Institute, we’ve visualized and ranked the world’s biggest oil producers.

Ranked: Oil Production By Country, in 2022

The U.S. has been the world’s biggest oil producer since 2018 and continued its dominance in 2022 by producing close to 18 million barrels per day (B/D). This accounted for nearly one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.

Almost three-fourths of the country’s oil production is centered around five states: Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado.

We rank the other major oil producers in the world below.

RankCountry2022 Production
(Thousand B/D)
YoY ChangeShare of
World Supply
1🇺🇸 U.S.17,770+6.5%18.9%
2🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia12,136+10.8%12.9%
3🇷🇺 Russia11,202+1.8%11.9%
4🇨🇦 Canada5,576+3.0%5.9%
5🇮🇶 Iraq4,520+10.2%4.8%
6🇨🇳 China4,111+2.9%4.4%
7🇦🇪 UAE4,020+10.4%4.3%
8🇮🇷 Iran3,822+4.6%4.1%
9🇧🇷 Brazil3,107+3.9%3.3%
10🇰🇼 Kuwait3,028+12.0%3.2%
11🇲🇽 Mexico1,944+0.9%2.1%
12🇳🇴 Norway1,901-6.3%2.0%
13🇰🇿 Kazakhstan1,769-2.0%1.9%
14🇶🇦 Qatar1,768+1.8%1.9%
15🇩🇿 Algeria1,474+8.9%1.6%
16🇳🇬 Nigeria1,450-11.2%1.5%
17🇦🇴 Angola1,190+1.1%1.3%
18🇱🇾 Libya1,088-14.3%1.2%
19🇴🇲 Oman1,064+9.6%1.1%
20🇬🇧 UK778-11.0%0.8%
21🇨🇴 Colombia754+2.4%0.8%
22🇮🇳 India737-3.8%0.8%
23🇻🇪 Venezuela731+8.1%0.8%
24🇦🇷 Argentina706+12.4%0.8%
25🇦🇿 Azerbaijan685-5.6%0.7%
26🇮🇩 Indonesia644-6.9%0.7%
27🇪🇬 Egypt613+0.8%0.7%
28🇲🇾 Malaysia567-1.7%0.6%
29🇪🇨 Ecuador481+1.7%0.5%
30🇦🇺 Australia420-5.2%0.4%
31🇹🇭 Thailand331-17.5%0.4%
32🇨🇩 Congo269-1.7%0.3%
33🇹🇲 Turkmenistan244+1.0%0.3%
34🇻🇳 Vietnam194-1.2%0.2%
35🇬🇦 Gabon191+5.4%0.2%
36🇸🇸 South Sudan141-7.6%0.2%
37🇵🇪 Peru128+0.5%0.1%
38🇹🇩 Chad124+6.2%0.1%
39🇬🇶 Equatorial
Guinea
119-9.2%0.1%
40🇸🇾 Syria93-2.7%0.1%
41🇮🇹 Italy92-7.9%0.1%
42🇧🇳 Brunei92-13.8%0.1%
43🇾🇪 Yemen81-2.4%0.1%
44🇹🇹 Trinidad
& Tobago
74-3.6%0.1%
45🇷🇴 Romania65-6.2%0.1%
46🇩🇰 Denmark65-1.6%0.1%
47🇺🇿 Uzbekistan63-0.9%0.1%
48🇸🇩 Sudan62-3.3%0.1%
49🇹🇳 Tunisia40-12.9%0.0%
50Other CIS43+4.4%0.0%
51Other Middle East210+1.2%0.2%
52Other Africa283-3.4%0.3%
53Other Europe230-20.5%0.2%
54Other Asia Pacific177-10.6%0.2%
55Other S. &
Cent. America
381+68.5%0.4%
Total World93,848+4.2%100.0%

Behind America’s considerable lead in oil production, Saudi Arabia (ranked 2nd) produced 12 million B/D, accounting for about 13% of global supply.

Russia came in third with 11 million B/D in 2022. Together, these top three oil producing behemoths, along with Canada (4th) and Iraq (5th), make up more than half of the entire world’s oil supply.

Meanwhile, the top 10 oil producers, including those ranked 6th to 10th—China, UAE, Iran, Brazil, and Kuwait—are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s oil production.

Notably, all top 10 oil giants increased their production between 2021–2022, and as a result, global output rose 4.2% year-on-year.

Major Oil Producing Regions in 2022

The Middle East accounts for one-third of global oil production and North America makes up almost another one-third of production. The Commonwealth of Independent States—an organization of post-Soviet Union countries—is another major regional producer of oil, with a 15% share of world production.

Region2022 Production
(Thousand B/D)
YoY ChangeShare of
World Supply
Middle East30,743+9.2%32.8%
North America25,290+5.3%27.0%
CIS14,006+0.9%14.9%
Africa7,043-3.5%7.5%
Asia Pacific7,273-1.4%7.8%
South & Central
America
6,3617.2%6.8%
Europe3,131-8.6%3.3%

What’s starkly apparent in the data however is Europe’s declining share of oil production, now at 3% of the world’s supply. In the last 20 years the EU’s oil output has dropped by more than 50% due to a variety of factors, including stricter environmental regulations and a shift to natural gas.

Another lens to look at regional production is through OPEC members, which control about 35% of the world’s oil output and about 70% of the world’s oil reserves.

A pictogram of the regional per day production by the biggest oil producers in 2022.

When taking into account the group of 10 oil exporting countries OPEC has relationships with, known as OPEC+, the share of oil production increases to more than half of the world’s supply.

Oil’s Big Balancing Act

Since it’s the very lifeblood of the modern economy, the countries that control significant amounts of oil production also reap immense political and economic benefits. Entire regions have been catapulted into prosperity and wars have been fought over the control of the resource.

At the same time, the ongoing effort to pivot to renewable energy is pushing many major oil exporters to diversify their economies. A notable example is Saudi Arabia, whose sovereign wealth fund has invested in companies like Uber and WeWork.

However, the world still needs oil, as it supplies nearly one-third of global energy demand.

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