Real-Time Power Mix

The electricity mix is changing faster than ever as nations embrace solar, wind, geothermal and even nuclear power.
Note: For Brazil, “Thermal” refers to power generated by coal, natural gas, oil and/or biomass. For the U.S., data are hourly aggregates. For hydroelectricity, net power output is negative when power consumed by pumped storage exceeds power generated by all types of that group.

Why this number

The journey to zero emissions starts here, within the energy sources used by major nations to provide electricity. The charts above are close-to-real-time views of the power grids in four big countries. Using available data collected by Bloomberg, we can watch the shift to zero-emission power—wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and nuclear—as it happens in the U.S., Germany, Brazil and the U.K.

Inside this metric

It’s usually impossible to see live electricity-source data at a national level. Bloomberg Green selected these four countries as global benchmarks because we could approximate their live energy-data streams. Thirty years ago, more than half of all power generation came from coal and natural gas. Thirty years from now, about the same proportion will come from the sun and wind, according to BloombergNEF projections. In this long arc of change, we can use these four nations as a daily proxy for the worldwide energy transition.

How we know

These real-time charts rely on hourly power-generation information gathered by government agencies such as the Brazilian electric system operator, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

What progress looks like

The year 2050 has emerged as an important milestone in global decarbonization. Power demand in developing nations is expected to double by 2050 from today’s levels. Scientists have also set 2050 as the recommended end-date for climate pollution, and nations such as the U.K., Costa Rica and New Zealand have adopted this as an official target for reaching zero emissions. How nations walk this line away from fossil-fuel electricity is one of the major factors determining the extent of climate change.

Below, we’ve collected projections from BloombergNEF for total global power generation by type, along with forecasts for 18 countries.

Fossil Fuels Are on Their Way Out—in Some Countries

Total energy generation by type, 2012–2050

Not carbon-free

Oil

Coal

Natural gas

Biomass

Other

Carbon-free

Hydro

Wind

Geothermal

Solar

Nuclear

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

2012

2020

2030

2040

2050

Canada

(pre-2012)

France (pre-2012)

Brazil (pre-2012)

100%

50%

0%

South

Korea (2037)

Germany (2025)

U.S.

100%

50%

0%

Philippines

(2040)

U.K. (2022)

Turkey (2026)

100%

50%

0%

Italy (2024)

China (2032)

India (2038)

100%

50%

0%

Mexico (2027)

Australia (2030)

Japan (2033)

100%

50%

0%

Indonesia (2046)

Malaysia

Thailand

100%

50%

0%

2012

2050

2012

2050

2012

2050

Not carbon-free

Oil

Coal

Natural gas

Biomass

Other

Carbon-free

Hydro

Wind

Geothermal

Solar

Nuclear

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

2012

2020

2030

2040

2050

France (pre-2012)

Brazil (pre-2012)

Canada (pre-2012)

Germany (2025)

100%

50%

0%

South

Korea (2037)

U.S.

Philippines (2040)

U.K. (2022)

100%

50%

0%

Turkey (2026)

Italy (2024)

China (2032)

India (2038)

100%

50%

0%

Mexico (2027)

Australia (2030)

Japan (2033)

Indonesia (2046)

100%

50%

0%

2012

2050

2012

2050

Malaysia

Thailand

100%

50%

0%

2012

2050

2012

2050

Not carbon-free

Oil

Coal

Natural gas

Biomass

Other

Carbon-free

Hydro

Wind

Geothermal

Solar

Nuclear

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

2012

2020

2030

2040

2050

South

Korea (2037)

France (pre-2012)

Brazil (pre-2012)

Canada (pre-2012)

Germany (2025)

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

U.S.

Philippines (2040)

U.K. (2022)

Turkey (2026)

Italy (2024)

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

China (2032)

India (2038)

Mexico (2027)

Australia (2030)

Japan (2033)

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

2012

2050

2012

2050

Indonesia (2046)

Malaysia

Thailand

100%

75%

50%

25%

0%

2012

2050

2012

2050

2012

2050

Source: BloombergNEF