IEA: KEY ELECTRICITY TRENDS 2017
According to the IEA electricity trends 2017, an assessment of monthly data shows that in 2016, OECD net electricity production grew by 0.9% compared to 2015. Within this small overall change there was a large increase of 9.5% in Geothermal, Solar, Wind and Other renewables generation and a smaller, but still significant, increase of Hydro, 2.2%. Combustible Fuels and Nuclear fell by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.
In the OECD, non-combustible renewables accounted for 22.4% of all generation compared to 21.6% in 2015. The share of production from combustible fuels (including combustible renewables) fell by 0.7 ppt to 59.5%, with the remainder, 18.1%, made up from nuclear – virtually unchanged from 2015.
Overall production rose by about 0.9% in the OECD, but each OECD region saw different changes in production shares by fuel type during 2016. In OECD Americas (hereafter, “the Americas”), Combustible Fuels dropped by 1.5% while Nuclear increased 0.7%, Hydro increased by 3.2% and Geothermal, Wind, Solar and Other renewables increased significantly by 22.5%. OECD Asia/Oceania showed the same trends, with Combustible Fuels dropping 0.5% but increases in Nuclear, 6.6%, Hydro, 1.4%, and Geothermal, Wind, Solar and Other renewables increasing the most, 12.6%. OECD Europe showed a different trend with the largest increase coming from Combustible Fuels, 2.6%, and a smaller increase in Hydro of 1.0%. Other non-combustible renewables remained virtually flat while the only decrease came from Nuclear, 2.4%.
In terms of shares of generation, non-combustible renewables accounted for 30% of generation in Europe compared to 21% in the Americas and 12% in Asia/Oceania. Combustible Fuels remain the dominant source of electricity and accounted for 61% in the Americas, 78% in Asia/Oceania and 47% in Europe. Nuclear produced 23% in Europe, 18% in the Americas and 9.5% in Asia/Oceania.
Total OECD cumulative production of electricity from combustible fuels in 2016 was 6 174.3 TWh, which was 12.9 TWh, or 0.2%, lower than in 2015. This comprised reductions in Asia/Oceania and the Americas of 0.5% and 1.5% but an increase in Europe of 2.6%.
One element within Combustible Fuels was the switch from coal to natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom, continuing the trend from within the last year. In 2016, the United States reduced use of coal plants in favor of natural gas plants due to the low price of natural gas. The same trend was seen in the U.K., although the shift was larger with the added influence of carbon pricing in the U.K. (Source: IEA)