Decarbonisation and energy system transformation

Measuring the world's 50 most influential electric utilities companies

WBA’s second Climate and Energy Benchmark measures and ranks the world’s 50 most influential electric utilities companies on their transition to a low-carbon economy. The sector is often described as the ‘great enabler’ of low-carbon energy. Is it living up to its name? Or is it lights out for the Paris Agreement?

Electric utilities are an important nexus for cleaner energy across transport, real estate and industry more broadly. With electricity demand predicted to increase by nearly 80% by 2050, decarbonisation of electric utilities is thus critical for enabling change within and beyond the sector and powering the transition to a low-carbon economy.

While there are encouraging examples of leadership, the benchmarked companies as a whole display a lack of ambition. In this decade of action, now is the time for electric utilities to step up their accountability, embed transition planning and look to renewables as a necessary and core element of their business strategy.

Five key findings

This benchmark shows that less than 10% of the 50 keystone companies in a sector seen as the ‘great enabler’ of low-carbon energy have Paris-aligned targets. There is still a strong fossil fuel dependency, with 70% of the benchmarked companies already set to exceed their carbon budgets to 2033. Overall, the sector displays a lack of ambition in terms of transition planning, milestone creation and accountability. Disruptors have real potential to instigate and lead a clean energy transformation, but greater urgency is needed to deliver on the targets and ambition of the Paris Agreement.

 

 

Key finding

Dim prospects for decarbonisation.

The sector still has a strong fossil fuel dependency, with 35 of the 50 companies assessed already set to exceed their carbon budgets. The climate performance of 33 companies is expected to decline in the near term.

Read more
Key finding

Where is the ambition to achieve Paris?

Only 4 companies have set fully Paris-aligned emissions reduction targets; many of the targets of the remaining 46 are considered inadequate and unambitious. Without bold action, companies will fall further behind their decarbonisation pathways.

Read more
Key finding

Low-carbon transition planning not sufficient to spark change.

While 42 of the 50 companies have a low-carbon transition plan or have made transition-planning commitments, closer examination shows insufficient action. Overall, companies are not implementing sufficiently resilient, long-term strategies to enable a successful low-carbon transition.

Read more
Key finding

More needed to power the growth of renewables.

Companies must increase the capacity of renewables in their generation mix. Despite the fast-improving economics of renewables, technological advances and favourable policy landscapes in certain markets, only some companies are switching fossil fuels for renewables.

Read more
Key finding

The great disruptor can energise the low-carbon transition.

The low-carbon transition is shaking up the traditional electric utility business model and creating new opportunities. Increasingly stringent climate policy, falling technology costs, changing consumer demand and emerging market disruptors can energise the sector.

Read more

Find out the performance of the electric utility companies

Go to ranking

Regional findings

These 50 keystone companies have a global footprint through their emissions, and many are present across the globe through their operations, subsidiaries and services. When assessing them by location of headquarters, the benchmark has highlighted clear regional trends and discrepancies. Regional findings have been captured for Eastern Asia, Northern America, and Europe – which together cover 40 of the 50 companies in the benchmark.

The 50 keystone electric utility companies

Click the map to explore each company, depending on the region you would like to learn about and the location of headquarters

Locations

  • Title: EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg
    Place: Karlsruhe, Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Enel
    Place: Rome, Italy
    Description:
  • Title: ENGIE
    Place: Paris, France
    Description:
  • Title: Eskom Holdings
    Place: Sunninghill, South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: Exelon Corporation
    Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Fortum
    Place: Espoo, Finland
    Description:
  • Title: Iberdrola
    Place: Bilbao, Spain
    Description:
  • Title: Inter RAO
    Place: Moscow, Russia
    Description:
  • Title: Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO)
    Place: Osaka, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO/Hanjeon)
    Place: Naju-si, Republic of Korea
    Description:
  • Title: Kyushu Electric Power
    Place: Fukuoka, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: NextEra Energy
    Place: Juno Beach, Florida, USA
    Description:
  • Title: NTPC
    Place: New Delhi, India
    Description:
  • Title: Origin Energy
    Place: Sydney, Australia
    Description:
  • Title: Ørsted
    Place: Fredericia, Denmark
    Description:
  • Title: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
    Place: San Francisco, California, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN)
    Place: Jakarta, Indonesia
    Description:
  • Title: RWE
    Place: Essen, Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)
    Place: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Description:
  • Title: Southern Co
    Place: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Description:
  • Title: SSE 
    Place: Perth, United Kingdom
    Description:
  • Title: State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) (国家电力投资集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Taiwan Power Company (台灣電力公司)
    Place: Taipei, Taiwan, China
    Description:
  • Title: Tenaga Nasional
    Place: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Description:
  • Title: Tohoku Electric Power
    Place: Sendai, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
    Place: Tokyo, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Uniper
    Place: Düsseldorf, Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Vattenfall
    Place: Solna, Sweden
    Description:
  • Title: Vistra Energy Corp
    Place: Irving, Texas, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Xcel Energy
    Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
    Description:
  • Title: AES Corporation
    Place: Arlington, Virginia, USA
    Description:
  • Title: AGL Energy
    Place: Sydney, Australia
    Description:
  • Title: American Electric Power (AEP)
    Place: Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Description:
  • Title: CEZ Group
    Place: Prague, Czech Republic
    Description:
  • Title: China Datang Corp (中国大唐集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Energy Investment Group (CHN Energy) (国家能源投资集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Huadian Corporation (中国华电集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Huaneng Group (中国华能集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Three Gorges (中国长江三峡集团)
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Chubu Electric Power
    Place: Nagoya, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Chugoku Electric Power Company
    Place: Hiroshima, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: CLP Holdings (中電集團)
    Place: Hong Kong, China
    Description:
  • Title: Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE)
    Place: Mexico City, Mexico
    Description:
  • Title: Dominion Energy
    Place: Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Duke Energy
    Place: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
    Description:
  • Title: E.ON
    Place: Essen, Germany
    Description:
  • Title: EDP Energias de Portugal
    Place: Lisbon, Portugal
    Description:
  • Title: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC)
    Place: Cairo, Egypt
    Description:
  • Title: Électricité de France (EDF)
    Place: Paris, France
    Description:
  • Title: Eletrobras
    Place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Description: