Global renewables electricity production still rising

3 January 2023

The latest International Energy Agency's ‘Monthly Electricity Statistics’ report shows that for the total OECD membership net electricity production amounted to 867.5 TWh in September 2022. Over the first three quarters of 2022, total electricity production increased by 1.8% or 146.5 TWh compared to the first three quarters of 2021.

Electricity production from renewables was responsible for most of the growth in electricity generation in September 2022 (+6.5% or 165.7 TWh y-t-d), driven by strong wind and solar output, respectively up by 16.1% and 21.1% on a year-to-date basis. This growth compensated the negative trend suffered by hydro, amounting to a loss of 31.4 TWh (-2.7% y-t-d) compared to the same period of 2021.

Nuclear electricity production decreased by 5.6% or 75.7 TWh y-t-d in September 2022, essentially because of reduced nuclear output in the OECD Europe region. In particular, France and Germany’s nuclear power output respectively decreased by 22.0% y-t-d and 49.8% y-t-d.

Electricity production from fossil fuels was fairly stable at 492.6 TWh in September 2022, slightly up by 0.9% compared to the same month last year. In the first three quarters of 2022, production from coal decreased by 3.0% or 48.8 TWh y-t-d, mainly driven by a lower output in the OECD Americas (-9.0% y-t-d), and only partly compensated by a higher output in OECD Europe (+ 7.0% y-t-d). Electricity production from natural gas went up by 4.7% or 109.7 TWh y-t-d, with a positive trend being registered in all OECD regions.

The greatest percentage increases were recorded in Spain, where total net electricity production increased by 16.2% y-o-y in September 2022, driven by a higher production from natural gas (+26.7% y-o-y), solar (+34.7% y-o-y) and wind (+29.2% y-o-y). For the first time, solar has overtaken hydro to become Spain’s fourth-biggest source of electricity. In the first three quarters of 2022, production from solar increased by 30.8% y-t-d, while hydro decreased by 41.9% y-t-d. Besides climate factors, this trend was also spurred by new solar capacity additions.

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