Electrification plays a key role in decarbonisation. However, it can be a viable option only when these grids are powered by clean energy. While many countries are moving toward renewables there are still some countries that remain almost fully powered by fossil fuels. Energy Monitor, which examines the politics and economics of moving away from fossil fuels towards renewables, has calculated the world’s top ten dirtiest power grids. These include countries which have the greatest share of coal, gas and oil in their grid-connected electricity generation capacity.
Turkmenistan ranked the top country with dirtiest power grids which produces 100% of its electricity from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Natural gas provides 98% of the country’s electricity. Turkmenistan holds the fifth largest natural gas reserves in the world, which also contributes to around 80% of the country’s exports. Meanwhile, the wind and solar power are by far the cheapest sources of electricity on average globally.
Turkmenistan has not really embarked on a transition to clean electricity, despite being party to the 2015 Paris Agreement. While investments are also favouring renewables, investments made in Turkmenistan are predominantly in the fossil fuels. The report also stresses the repressive nature of the regime and isolated economy with very little foreign investment.
Other offenders include Kuwait, Libya, Trinidad and Tobago, Saudi Arabia, Moldova, Bahaman, Algeria, Bangladesh and Botswana. Meanwhile, countries such as Sweden, Norway, Brazil and Canada are on the other end of the spectrum having the top share of renewables-dominated grids.