Renewable Ready Index | Utility Bidder

Renewable Ready Index

How Ready is the World

for Net-Zero Emissions?

The term ‘net-zero’ means reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans as close as possible to zero, by either reducing overall emissions or balancing emissions with an equivalent amount of carbon removal.

The energy sector generates around three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing polluting coal, gas, and oil-fired power with renewable energy from renewable sources would dramatically reduce carbon emissions around the world.

Over 70 countries, including the world’s biggest polluters (China, the USA, and the EU) have set net-zero targets. This covers about 76% of global emissions. To limit global warming, emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Net-Zero Commitments

Of the top ten greenhouse gas emitters, only Japan, Canada and the EU have legally binding net-zero commitments.

The EU committed to a binding target of net domestic reduction of at least 55% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and has set out a long-term strategy of becoming climate neutral by 2050.

Sweden and Germany have legally binding net-zero targets for 2045. France, Denmark, Spain, Hungary, and Luxembourg have legally binding targets for 2050.

Japan, Korea, Canada, and New Zealand have passed laws committing to achieving net-zero by 2050.

The Biggest Sources of Electricity Production

The world is estimated to generate over 27,000 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity each year. Almost 17,000 TWh of this electricity comes from fossil fuels, compared to just 7,700 from renewable energy sources.

1

Coal

10,042

TWh

Coal is currently the world’s main source of generating energy. Globally, the world generates over 10,000 terawatt-hours of electricity from coal, meaning that coal generates 36% of the world’s electricity every year.

2

Gas

6,098

TWh

Gas is the second biggest source of electricity production. Generating 6,000 TWh of electricity every year, gas makes up 22% of global electricity production.

3

Hydropower

4,206

TWh

The third-largest source of electricity is our first renewable source on this list. Hydropower generates over 4,000 TWh of electricity each year, representing 15.28% of the total production of electricity.

Source

Global electricity generation (TWh)

The Countries Relying Most on Fossil Fuels for Electricity Generation

This includes all electricity generated from coal, oil, and gas. The world currently generates 16,992 terawatt-hours of electricity using these three sources.

Key Total electricity production from fossil fuels Total electricity production from renewables
1

China

5,664

TWh

67,03%

28,14%

China generates the most electricity from fossil fuels in the world. Just over 67% of China’s total electricity production comes from fossil fuels, 5,664 terawatt-hours, an astounding 33.33% of the world's energy production of electricity from fossil fuels. The majority of this, over 5,000 TWh, is from coal.

2

United States

2,509

TWh

60,35%

20,94%

The United States comes second, generating over two and half thousand terawatt-hours from fossil fuels. The US produces 2,509 TWh of electricity from fossil fuels (60.35% of their total production) compared to just ​​870.3 TWh generated from renewables (20.94% of total production), meaning the US generates almost three times more electricity from fossil fuels than from renewables.

3

India

1,313

TWh

77,45%

20,04%

India is the third biggest country relying on fossil fuels for electricity generation in the world, producing over 1,300 TWh. Similarly to China, India generates most of its electricity from coal, a total of 1,250 TWh. Over three quarters of India’s total electricity production, 1,313 TWh, comes from fossil fuels with just 20.04% coming from renewable sources.

Country

Total fossil fuels terawatt-hours (TWh)

The Countries Emitting the Most CO₂

Looking at figures from 2020, the world currently generates around 34.81 billion tonnes of CO₂ every year. Of this, 20.43 billion tonnes were emitted by the world’s 5 biggest emitters.

1

China

10.67

Billion tonnes of CO₂

China emitted an enormous 10.67 billion tonnes of CO₂ over 2020, 30.65% of total global emissions.

2

United States

4.71

Billion tonnes of CO₂

The United States came in second, emitting 4.71 billion tonnes, 13.53% of worldwide emissions.

3

India

2.44

Billion tonnes of CO₂

In third place is India, which emitted 2.44 billion tonnes making 7.01% of global emissions.

4

Russia

1.58

Billion tonnes of CO₂

Russia, accounting for 4.54% of total global emissions, emitted 1.58 billion tonnes and ranked fourth among the world's biggest emitters.

5

Japan

1.03

Billion tonnes of CO₂

Rounding off the top 5 biggest emitters of CO₂ is Japan. Emitting just over 1 billion tonnes, Japan contributed 2.96% to the world’s total emissions in 2020.

Country

Annual CO₂ emissions (billion tonnes)

The Biggest Exporters of Natural Gas

Not only is Russia one of the biggest emitters of CO₂, but is the world's largest exporter of natural gas. Russia supplied around 43.4% of Europe’s natural gas in 2020 and just under 200,000 million standard cubic metres worldwide.

With the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, European countries are making steps to reduce their reliance on natural gas exports from Russia. The US has already banned importation of Russian Oil into the US, and the UK and the European Union plans to ban all purchases of Russian oil by the end of the year.

The transition away from natural gas is expected to either speed up the global transition to renewables, or lead to disastrous return to coal.

1

Russia

199,928

mcm

Russia exported the highest volume of natural gas over 2020, 199,928 mcm.

2

United States

149,538

mcm

The United States was the second largest exporter of natural gas in 2020, exporting 149,538 mcm.

3

Qatar

143,700

mcm

Qatar exported 143,700 mcm of natural gas in 2020, making it the world’s third biggest gas exporter.

Country

Total fossil fuels terawatt-hours (TWh)

Energy Storage

When we rely more on renewable energy sources, there must be enough storage capacity to store future energy. This means the fluctuations in the production of energy from renewable sources can be planned for. A rapid scale-up of energy storage is critical to meet flexibility needs in a decarbonised electricity system.

Here are the top three countries adding to the world's energy storage market. To put these figures into perspective, the world must see nearly 600 GW of battery storage capacity installed by 2030 to align with the net-zero-emissions-by-2050 scenario. Total storage capacity currently stands at just 17 GW.

1

China

1.6

GW

China added the largest amount of energy storage capacity last year, adding 1.6 GW.

2

United States

1.5

GW

The United States added 1.5GW, the second largest capacity added.

3

All of Europe

0.8

CW

As a whole, Europe added just 0.8 GW to the global energy storage capacity.

Country

2020 energy storage addition (GW)

KPMG’s Net Zero Readiness Index

KPMG has analysed the progress of 32 countries in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and their ability to achieve Net Zero by 2050. The Net Zero Readiness Index considers 103 indicators of net-zero preparedness in each of the 32 countries investigated. These cover the country's national preparedness, its past decarbonisation performance, and the country's enabling environment for decarbonisation (for example, electricity and heat needs, industry, and agriculture, among others)

These are the top three countries that are best prepared to reach net-zero, according to KMPG.

1

Norway

Despite acting as one of the world’s largest gas and oil exporters, Norway is considered best prepared to reach net-zero by 2050. Norway has seen significant private and public investment in renewable energy and electrified transport throughout the country. The Norwegian parliament has also voted to set a target of reaching net-zero by 2030, two decades faster than many other countries.

2

United Kingdom

The UK, which hosted the COP26 Climate Summit at the end of last year, ranks second place for net-zero-readiness, due to cross-party political support and clearly outlined legally-backed targets. Such targets have enabled relatively fast decarbonization of the country’s power generation sector.

3

Sweden

Sweden, an international advocate for climate policy, green energy, and technology, ranked third and is considered as being ‘highly ambitious’. Currently, the country is relying heavily on agricultural exports and imports which adds significantly to their overall emissions.

Country

The United Kingdom

The UK was placed as the second most ready country to reach net-zero by 2050 by KPMG. The UK has a legally binding net-zero target to be achieved by 2050 and new interim targets to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035. Here are some of the relevant statistics for the UK.

Key 2021 Generation of electricity through fossil fuels 2021 Generation of electricity through renewables

137.13 TWh

121.54 TWh

The UK generates close to equal amounts of electricity from fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. The UK’s biggest contributor to its electricity production is gas, ​​which accounts for a total of 122.57 terawatt-hours of electricity production, more than all of the UK’s production of electricity from renewable sources combined. The UK’s biggest renewable energy source is wind, which generated 64.37 TWh of electricity in 2021.

2020 Emissions

0.33

Billion tonnes

Despite being a relatively small country compared to some on our list, the UK emits 0.33 billion tonnes of CO₂ in 2020, placing it within the top 20 biggest polluters of 2020.

Methodology

Where 2021 data was not available, the closest available data was collected, most commonly data from 2020. KPMG’s Net Zero Readiness Index was taken directly from KPMG and represents results published on 1st September 2021. Insights were taken from KPMG, UN.org, and the UK commissions library. Data for energy production and emissions were taken from ourworldindata.org. Data for energy storage were taken from IEA.org. Volume of natural gas exported in 2020 was taken from aljazeera.com.

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