Slow recovery in RE production after low-wind dip

20 September 2021

The latest International Energy Agency Monthly Electricity Statistics report, which includes June 2021 data, shows that for total OECD *activity:

  • In June 2021, total electricity production in the OECD was 894.2 TWh. Production was 5.8% higher than in June 2020 and 6.8% higher than in May 2021.
  • Renewable electricity production was 271.0 TWh, 0.9% higher than in June 2020 and 8.9% lower than in May 2021. Renewable power was responsible for 30.3% of total electricity production. The drop in renewable production compared to May 2021 was caused by lower wind production, at 55.9 TWh in June 2021, 29.4% lower than in May 2021.
  • Conventional thermal production was 500.2 TWh in June 2021, 19.0% higher than in May 2021 and 9.6% higher than in June 2020. In the first semester of 2021, conventional thermal production was 2805.2 TWh, 7.2% higher than in the period in 2020. This increase in production was driven by higher coal power output, at 1035.7 TWh in the first semester of 2021 up by 15.3% compared to the first semester of 2020.
  • In the United States, coal production was 90.4 TWh in June 2021, 33.0% higher than in June 2020. In the first semester of 2021, coal power production was 453.5 TWh, up by 33.6% compared to the same period in 2020. In the first semester of 2021, coal power output was similar to the output in the first semester of 2019. In the first semester of 2020, coal production was the lowest recorded since 1965 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for coal plummeted as electricity demand dropped and natural gas prices were historically low. In the first half of 2021, natural gas prices were higher and coal power production became more competitive.

*The IEA’s Monthly Electricity Statistics features electricity production and trade data for all OECD Member Countries, and can be downloaded from the IEA website.


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