2014 OECD Electricity Production Falls — Less Fossil Fuels & More Renewables, IEA

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Provisional data provided by the International Energy Agency shows electricity production down 0.8% in the OECD, due to a drop in fossil fuel and hydro production.

The figures, released on Thursday, show that electricity production in the 34 member states of the OECD fell 0.8% to 10,712 TWh, a decrease of 86 TWh on 2013’s figures. The International Energy Agency (IEA) point out that this decline was driven by lower fossil fuel and hydro production, but a decline which was partially offset by a growth in non-hydro renewables and nuclear.


Non-hydro renewable electricity generation increased by 8.5% in 2014, driven primarily by solar and wind generation. OECD nuclear production grew by 0.9% in 2014.

Specifically, solar PV overtook solid biofuels to become the second largest source of non-hydro renewable electricity in OECD Europe, with a share of 17.3%.



However, it is the non-OECD countries which are driving growth in electricity generation, with the latest data released by the IEA showing that global electricity generation increased by 2.9% between 2012 and 2013, with two very distinct trends: Electricity generation is levelling off in the OECD, while at the same time growing in the rest of the world at an annual average growth rate of 5.6%.


Definite total-global figures from a year earlier show that renewable electricity generation (including hydro) became the second largest source of electricity, producing 22% of total electricity, amounting to 5,130 TWh. Additionally, global non-hydro renewable electricity generation in 2013 surpassed oil-fired generation for the first time ever, growing to 1,256 TWh, or 5.4% of global electricity generation.

However, electricity generated by coal reached its highest levels ever in 2013, generating 9,613 TWh, 41.1% of the global electricity pie, driven primarily by non-OECD countries.

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10 thoughts on “2014 OECD Electricity Production Falls — Less Fossil Fuels & More Renewables, IEA

  • This article is a little bit misleading. The amount of production is equal to the amount needed. An overall decrease in production has nothing to do with the mix of generation. Even if we had massive amounts of battery storage the long term production has to be equal to quantity demanded.

    • I wonder how much small scale solar growth, on roofs and yards from 1 to 5kWh, has been so difficult to track that it simply showed up as lower demand?

      • There’s that, and then there’s the LED lightbulbs. Lighting used to be a huge proportion of electricity demand and it’s dropping to near-zero.

        • Very true. Where are the statistics found for those results?

    • “The amount of production is equal to the amount needed.”


      Production has to include transforming,transport and storage losses.
      Many power plants run their own (coal) mines, supplying them with power straight from the generator.And power plants are major power consumers, think about Japan’s atomic fleet.

      All these losses are not needed, the consumer isn’t metered for these.

      The costs arising from these losses have to be met by those who lose the power.They can’t be passed on to the metered power consumer anymore, many OECD utilities are in the red.
      And again these are the atomic and fossil nations resp. their utilities.

      • Would you agree with these statements?
        Reducing production of electricity does not CAUSE a reduction in consumption. A decrease in consumption of electricity does CAUSE a reduction in production.

        We can’t produce too little electricity because that would create blackouts which is not common in the US or other OECD countries (I assume). We can’t produce excess electricity because we can’t store it. In the future there will be more storage capacity on the grid, but it will just be a buffer, not long term storage.

        Your argument seems to be that the grid has become more efficient, so we can reduce production while maintaining the same level of consumption by the end user. I have not read anything about grid efficiency, so I can’t really argue with that statement. If that’s true, you could say that increased grid efficiency has CAUSED a reduction in production, but the article does not say anything about that.

  • The increase in nuclear output is odd. Japan hasn’t restarted any of its shuttered reactors and Germany slowly closes its own. Korea perhaps? At all events, nuclear is not really booming in the OECD and the prospect is for stagnation, then decline.

    • From the Graph –
      Drop in Coal = increase in non-hydro so they cancel
      Drop in Oil & NG = drop in overall production so they cancel
      So Increase in Nuclear = drop in hydro?
      Could be that the Nulclear ones are each just producing a bit more? e.g. 55% vs 50%?

    • It might just be that the safety checks, repairs, and refurbishments that took place after Fukushima had mostly run their course and so the capacity of reactors was up. (Although for all I know US reactors are still refusing to do the thing with the vent for the hydrogen to stop old reactors blowing their tops as in Fukushima.)

    • True, Belgium closed 2 bangers in the first half of 2014 as well.
      The UK runs most of them at reduced output for fear they gonna explode.
      Or not at all – longer than expected stand stills are the routine there.

      But maybe China (and Korea) are rescuing the statistics ?

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