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Electricity

Electricity generation fell by 0.9% – more than the decline in 2009 (-0.5%), the only other ‎year in our data series (which starts in 1985) when electricity demand fell
Electricity pylon against the sky

At a global level, coal is the dominant fuel for power generation, however its share fell 1.3 ‎percentage points to 35.1% in 2020, the lowest level in our data series.

 

The share of ‎renewables rose to record levels last year (11.7%), with the combined share of renewables ‎and gas-fired power (35.1%) equalling coal for the first time.

 

Europe’s share of renewables ‎in power generation reached 23.8%, surpassing nuclear energy and making Europe the ‎first region where renewables are the dominant source of power generation.‎

Share of global electricity generation by fuel (%)
Share of global electricity generation by fuel (%)
Renewables share of power generation by region (%)
Renewables share of power generation by region (%)

Natural gas is the dominant fuel used for power generation in North America, CIS, the ‎Middle East and Africa. More than half of the power in South and Central America is ‎hydroelectricity, while in Asia, coal comprises 57% of the generation mix – a far higher ‎share than any other region.

 

In Europe, renewables (including biopower) are the largest ‎source of power generation with 23.8% for the first time, overtaking nuclear on 21.6%. ‎Generation in Europe is spread fairly evenly between renewables, nuclear, gas (19.6%) and ‎hydro (16.9%).‎

Regional electricity generation by fuel 2020 (%)
Regional electricity generation by fuel 2020 (%)