The latest International Energy Agency ‘Monthly Electricity Statistics report’, which includes December 2023 data, indicates that total net electricity production by OECD member states was 925.3 TWh in December 2023, down by 2.6% compared to December 2022. In 2023, total net OECD production was 10674.2 TWh, reflecting a decrease of 1.5% compared to 2022. The year was marked by the shift from fossil fuels towards renewables and nuclear power.

Production from renewable sources rose to 318.7 TWh in December, a 7.7% increase compared to the same month last year. Over the course of 2023, production from renewable energy increased by 2.8%, driven by a significant growth in solar (+15.1% y-t-d) and wind (+4.4% y-t-d) generation. However, hydropower production declined in 2023 compared to 2022, dropping by 1.6%, as production in the OECD Americas fell short of previous years owing to lower precipitation and rising concerns about water availability in North America.

Nuclear and fossil sources

Similarly, nuclear power production increased in December 2023 (+2.5% y-o-y) and closed the year with a similar increase on a year-to-date basis (+2.5%). This growth was driven by the OECD Asia Oceania region (+14.0% y-t-d), with higher production in Japan (+49.6% y-t-d) and Korea (+2.9% y-t-d). In OECD Europe despite the phase out of nuclear in Germany at the start of the second quarter (–79.5% y-t-d), the increase in generation in France (+14.9 y-t-d) compensated for the difference, resulting in an overall higher production in 2023 (+0.6% y-t-d).

By contrast, electricity production from fossil sources in December 2023 decreased by 10.4% y-o-y, driven by reductions in coal (–17.7% y-o-y) and natural gas (–4.3% y-o-y) fired generation. Looking at the full year, coal power production reached its lowest point in the 10 years since the beginning of the IEA’s data collection (-14.4% y-t-d), falling below the levels seen in 2020, which had been the lowest in the period. Natural gas power generation remained relatively stable in 2023 compared to 2022 (+0.4% y-t-d), with higher production in the OECD Americas (+9.1% y-t-d) counterbalancing the decrease in usage in OECD Europe (–16.7% y-t-d) and OECD Asia Oceania (–8.1% y-t-d).

Outside the OECD

The trend of increased generation from renewables is also evident among non-OECD countries. However, electricity generation from fossil fuels still experienced growth in 2023 compared to 2022. Among the major non-OECD economies in the IEA’s dataset, most of them demonstrated an increase in total net electricity production. In China, total production increased by 8.0%, with a significant contribution of coal power production (+6.9% y-t-d) and wind power (+27.2% y-t-d). India also witnessed a notable increase in net production by 8.0% y-t-d, with coal playing a major role in this increase (+10.4% y-t-d), while solar and wind power made contributions (+19.2% and 17.2% y-t-d, respectively). In Brazil, generation rose by 4.1% y-t-d, driven primarily by renewable sources, including substantial increases in solar (+63.2% y-t-d) and wind power (+16.8% y-t-d).