Electricity Information: Overview

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In this report

Electricity Information provides a comprehensive review of historical and current market trends in the OECD electricity sector. It provides an overview of the world electricity developments covering world electricity and heat production, input fuel mix, supply and consumption, and electricity imports and exports. More detail is provided for the OECD countries with information covering production, installed capacity, input energy mix to electricity and heat production, consumption, electricity trades, input fuel prices and end-user electricity prices.

It provides comprehensive statistical details on overall energy consumption, economic indicators, electricity and heat production by energy form and plant type, electricity imports and exports, sectoral energy and electricity consumption, as well as prices for electricity and electricity input fuels for each country and regional aggregate. Electricity Information is one of a series of annual IEA statistical publications on major energy sources; other reports are Coal Information, Natural Gas Information, Oil Information and Renewables Information.
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Overview

In 2018, world gross electricity production was 3.9% higher than 2017. Year on year, global electricity production has grown each year continuously since 1974, except for between 2008 and 2009, when the global financial crisis caused an appreciable decline in production.

In 2018, non‑OECD countries’ share of production reached 58.0% of world electricity generation - more than double the share they held in 1974, Annual production growth between 2010 and 2018 averaged 0.3% in OECD countries, compared with 4.8% in non‑OECD countries.

Total gross electricity production, 1974-2018

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In 2018, generation from combustible fuels accounted for 66.3% of total world gross electricity production.

Combustible fuels include coal and coal products, oil and oil products, natural gas, biofuels including solid biomass and animal products, gas/liquids from biomass, industrial waste and municipal waste.

World gross electricity production, by source, 2018

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Electricity generation from total combustible fuels accounted for 57.1% of total OECD gross electricity production (compared to 71.7% for non-OECD).

Globally, electricity generation from renewable sources such as wind (+12.4%) and solar (+24.3%) registered robust growth.

OECD gross electricity production variation, 2018-2019 provisional

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Share of OECD gross electricity production by source, 1974-2019 provisional

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In 2018, world total electricity final consumption reached 22 315 TWh, 4.0% higher than 2017. In 2018, OECD total electricity final consumption was 9 728 TWh, 1.8% higher than in 2017, while final electricity consumption in non-OECD countries was 12 587 TWh, an increase of 5.7% from 2017.

World electricity final consumption by sector, 1974-2018

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Much of the growth in OECD electricity consumption since 1974 has taken place in the residential, and commercial and public services sectors. In 2018, industry was still the largest end-use sector for electricity consumption. However, industry’s share of consumption has been in long term decline, and is now only marginally greater than that of the residential, and commercial and public services sectors.

The remaining consumption sectors – transport, agriculture and fishing – are relatively small consumers of electricity. However, road transport has recently experienced strong growth in electricity consumption as electric vehicles gain market share across OECD countries, in particular in Europe.

OECD average annual growth rate in electricity final consumption by sector, 1974-2018

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The four largest non-OECD consumers of electricity in 2018 were the People's Republic of China, India, the Russian Federation and Brazil, which together represent 38.0% of global consumption. Among these countries, China has the largest share, at 47.8% of total non‑OECD consumption.

Electricity use outside the OECD is dominated by industrial demand, which accounts for half of final electricity consumption.

Top ten electricity consuming countries, 2018

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Electricity trade between neighbouring countries has become much more common in recent years.

In the OECD, imports of electricity grew from 89 TWh in 1974 to 491 TWh in 2019, representing an average annual growth rate of 3.9%, compared to the 2.0% growth in overall electricity supply.

Substantial trade in electricity occurs in OECD Europe, where electricity imports grew at an average annual rate of 4.0% between 1974 and 2019.

OECD Europe electricity imports and exports, 1974-2019

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