Renewables: share of global energy and electricity by country?

Renewables share of global energy

This data-file is an Excel “visualizer” for some of the key headline metrics around renewables’ share of global energy: such as total global energy use, electricity generation by source, wind penetration and solar penetration; broken down country-by-country, and showing how these metrics have changed over time, in an easy-to-compare visual format.


Global useful energy consumption stood at 71,000 TWH in 2021, rising at 2.5% per year in the past decade. It will most likely continue rising to over 100,000 TWH pa by 2050 (data here).

Electricity comprises 40% of total useful energy, with 28,000 TWH generated in 2021, and the remainder is for heat, motion, materials.

Electricity’s 40% share (as a percent of total useful energy) has changed remarkably little over the past decade, in our assessment, although electricity did increase from 15% to 17% of total primary energy.

Wind and solar now comprise 10% of all global electricity, of which two-thirds is wind, one-third is solar; making up 13.5% of OECD electricity and 8% of non-OECD.

Wind and solar’s 10% share is up from 2.3% a decade ago. This 7.7% increase has displaced coal (41% to 36%), but more disappointingly for CO2 intensity, also nuclear (12% to 10%) and hydro (16% to 15%), while natural gas remains at 22-23%.

The “renewables frontier” is that Spain, Portugal and Ireland are generating 30% of their electricity from wind and solar in 2021, followed by the UK, Germany and California at 25-30%. (Denmark has generated 50-60% from wind/solar since 2017, but this high penetration is achieved by exporting power).

Slow-downs. The ramp to 20-25% occurred more quickly in some of these countries, while the subsequent ramp to 25-30% sometimes (not always) occurred more slowly, and this may be the time that storage and demand-shifting start becoming more important.

Intermittency markets? Most countries in our screen are on course to reach 30% wind and solar penetrations within 5-10 years, again suggesting the dawn of demand-shifting, storage and intermittency solutions in this timeframe.

The cleanest grids in the world, however, belong to Norway (91% hydro, 8% wind) and Sweden (42% hydro, 31% nuclear, 16% wind), where nuclear and hydro can also buffer renewables (note here).

China, India and Indonesia together comprise c40% of global electricity and retain over c60% coal in their power mixes.

Despite rising renewables, coal-fired electricity, gas-fired electricity, total oil, coal and gas use are all making new highs in 2021-22. Our overview of China’s coal trajectory is here.

The source for this visualizer into renewables’ share of global energy is the exceptionally useful and thorough data provided in BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy (linked here). The analysis, data-scrubbing and visualizations are our own.

To read our recent commentary on renewables share of global energy, please see our article here.

UK grid volatility as renewable gain share?

This data-file contains the output from some enormous data-pulls, evaluating UK grid power generation by source, its volatility, and the relationship to hourly traded power prices. We conclude the grid is growing more expensive and volatile.


Different tabs in the data-file cover the total monthly demand of the UK power grid since 2016, broken down by generation source, month-by-month and smoothed over trailing twelve-month timeframes; statistical analysis of hourly power prices, by day and by quarter; and an hourly cross-correlation of wind generation with power prices (chart below).

We have recently updated the data-file to capture the extreme price spikes and volatility seen in 3Q2021.

The data-file is also regularly updated and we are happy to run bespoke analysis on the underlying data-sets for TSE clients.

Fully subsea offshore projects: the economics?

This model presents the economic impacts of developing a typical, 625Mboe offshore  gas condensate field using a fully subsea solution, compared against installing a new production facility.


Both projects are modelled out fully, to illstrate production profiles, per-barrel economics, capex metrics, NPVs, IRRs and sensitivity to oil and gas prices (e.g. breakevens).

The result of a fully offshore project is lower capex, lower opex, faster development and higher uptime, generating a c4% uplift in IRRs, a 50% uplift in NPV6 (below) and a 33% reduction in the project’s gas-breakeven price.

Please download the model to interrogate the numbers and input assumptions.

Offshore wind costs are inflating?

This data-file tabulates the capex costs of 35 offshore wind projects in the UK, with 8.5GW of capacity, which have been installed since the year 2000.


We model the incentive price for each project, i.e., the power price that is needed to earn a 10% levered but unsubsizided. There is little evidence for deflation. Rather, breakevens appear to have risen at a 2.5% CAGR over the past decade.

Please download the data-file to interrogate the findings, or view the individual project parameters. Continued technical innovation is needed in the wind industry. We find new airship concepts could help deflate logistic costs.

Power from Shore: the economics?

We model the economics of powering an oil platform from shore, using cheap renewable power instead of traditional gas turbines. This can lower upstream CO2 emissions by 5-15kg/bbl, or on average, around 70%; for a base case cost of $50-100/ton.


Our numbers are derived from reviewing technical papers, plus ten prior projects (mostly in Norway), which are tabulated in the data-file, including capex figures (in $M and $/W) where disclosed.

The costs of CO2 abatement can be flexed by varying inputs to the model, such as project size, gas prices, power prices and carbon prices.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.