Global electricity production still falling

19 September 2023

The latest International Energy Agency Monthly Electricity Statistics report, which includes June 2023 data, shows that for total OECD membership, total net electricity production amounted to 864.1 TWh in June 2023, down by 4.5% compared to June 2022. Over the first half of 2023, electricity production dropped by 3.7% compared to the same period last year.

This decrease was mainly driven by reduced electricity generation from fossil fuel sources (-7.4% y-t-d), led by a significant drop in electricity production from coal power plants (-17.3% y-t-d). Natural gas, on the other hand, remained in line with previous year’s levels (-0.4% y-t-d). Overall, the share of fossil fuels in the OECD electricity mix was 50.2% in June 2023, around 1.6% lower than in June 2022.

Total electricity production from renewable sources was stable over the first two quarters of 2023 (+0.3% y-t-d), as strong generation from solar (+ 12.3% y-t-d) compensated for lower output from wind (-1.0% y-t-d) and hydropower (-2.3% y-t-d). The share of renewables in the OECD electricity mix settled at 33.5% in June 2023, almost unvaried compared to the same month last year.

Over the first half of 2023, electricity generation from nuclear slightly decreased by 0.6% y-t-d, with nuclear power recovering in the second quarter of 2023 and mitigating the reduced output registered in the first quarter. In June 2023, nuclear plants accounted for 16.0% of total OECD electricity production, up by one percentage point compared to June 2022.

Notably, in New Zealand, electricity production from hydro achieved record levels, increasing by 19.3% y-o-y in June 2023 and 15.8% y-t-d. In June, the share in the energy mix rose to 68.1% as the rainfall during this and the previous month was above normal in certain regions. Hydro is the main source for electricity production in the country, with a share in electricity mix ranging from 50% to 70%, however larger shares are often seen after July as reservoirs fill after higher rainfall in winter months. In 2023 though, northern regions have seen more than a year’s worth of rainfall in only the first half of the year.

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