Members include both leaders and laggards in clean power
The G20 (Group of Twenty) is a forum for the world’s largest economies. The G20 have about 84% of the world’s electricity demand between them, and an even bigger share of global coal generation.
However, most G20 countries have dropped their share of coal by varying degrees. The UK has had the largest fall in coal share, with a decrease from 23% in 2015 to 1.6% in 2022.
South Africa has had the highest share of coal generation since 2015, followed by India as the second highest and China the third, showing no change in ranking.
Most have begun building wind and/or solar power at scale. In Germany and the UK, wind power generates over 20% of electricity. Solar‘s market share has also grown to 4.8%.
In terms of other clean power in the mix, hydro‘s share in global electricity generation has fallen from 18% in 2000 to 15% in 2022. Most G20 countries have seen their market share of hydro generation remain stable or fall, except for Australia, Canada, South Korea, Russia, and South Africa, where the share of hydro generation has increased.
Half of the G20 countries have increased the share of gas in their power mix since 2015, with Saudi Arabia showing the most significant increase from 46% to 61%. However, Brazil, Türkiye, India, Japan, and Russia have seen a decline in their gas share in the power mix.
France has the highest share of nuclear power in its domestic power mix, but its share has dropped from 76% in 2015 to 63% in 2022. South Korea has the second-highest nuclear share among the G20 countries, but its share has also slightly decreased.
The task to keep to 1.5 degrees is massive: 100% clean power by 2035 for OECD countries within the G20 and for all other countries by 2040.
There is hope that the G20 can build off the success of the G7 in pushing for rapid electricity decarbonisation, following up on the coal phasedown pledge from COP26, and under the leadership of India who surprised everyone with wind and solar making up 92% of the country’s power generation capacity additions in 2022. However the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes current G20 diplomacy difficult.
Last updated: May 2023