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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

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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

The World’s Biggest Nuclear Energy Producers

China has grown its nuclear capacity over the last decade, now ranking second on the list of top nuclear energy producers.

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A cropped chart breaking down the biggest nuclear energy producers, by country, in 2022.

The World’s Biggest Nuclear Energy Producers

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Scientists in South Korea recently broke a record in a nuclear fusion experiment. For 48 seconds, they sustained a temperature seven times that of the sun’s core.

But generating commercially viable energy from nuclear fusion still remains more science fiction than reality. Meanwhile, its more reliable sibling, nuclear fission, has been powering our world for many decades.

In this graphic, we visualized the top producers of nuclear energy by their share of the global total, measured in terawatt hours (TWh). Data for this was sourced from the Nuclear Energy Institute, last updated in August 2022.

 

 

Which Country Generates the Most Nuclear Energy?

Nuclear energy production in the U.S. is more than twice the amount produced by China (ranked second) and France (ranked third) put together. In total, the U.S. accounts for nearly 30% of global nuclear energy output.

However, nuclear power only accounts for one-fifth of America’s electricity supply. This is in contrast to France, which generates 60% of its electricity from nuclear plants.

RankCountryNuclear Energy
Produced (TWh)
% of Total
1🇺🇸 U.S.77229%
2🇨🇳 China38314%
3🇫🇷 France36314%
4🇷🇺 Russia2088%
5🇰🇷 South Korea1506%
6🇨🇦 Canada873%
7🇺🇦 Ukraine813%
8🇩🇪 Germany652%
9🇯🇵 Japan612%
10🇪🇸 Spain542%
11🇸🇪 Sweden512%
12🇧🇪 Belgium482%
13🇬🇧 UK422%
14🇮🇳 India402%
15🇨🇿 Czech Republic291%
N/A🌐 Other2198%
N/A🌍 Total2,653100%

Another highlight is how China has rapidly grown its nuclear energy capabilities in the last decade. Between 2016 and 2021, for example, it increased its share of global nuclear energy output from less than 10% to more than 14%, overtaking France for second place.

On the opposite end, the UK’s share has slipped to 2% over the same time period.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has heavily relied on nuclear energy to power its grid. In March 2022, it lost access to its key Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station after Russian forces wrested control of the facility. With six 1,000 MW reactors, the plant is one of the largest in Europe. It is currently not producing any power, and has been the site of recent drone attacks.

 

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