Electricity generation by source – comparison

Overview of the energy sources of electricity production in four important regions: Africa, China, Europe and the United States. A few observations jump out. First, it shows that fossil fuels are still a big part of the energy mix. Yet all regions are making progress, Europe most of all, with about 60% of being low-carbon (including nuclear. Second, the place of coal (the dirtiest of fuels) in the energy mix has either plateaued or declined in all regions, with a strong reduction in the US. Third, Europe and the US, with mature economies, show little growth, while Africa and China’s electricity generation has grown rapidly. In China, that means that recent growth has been covered almost entirely by low-carbon sources. The fourth and final observation is that Africa lags far behind in electrification, owing to its generally lagging development. The silver lining is that wind and solar are distributed energy sources that can be installed without massive and expensive grids, allowing Africa to leap-frog 19th and 20th century technology.

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