New figures have shown further decoupling of OECD countries’ economic growth from carbon emissions, as energy production rose but consumption and emissions fell.
In fact, energy production for the 34 countries within the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development rose 4% to a record high of 4,147 Million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), exceeding 4,000 Mtoe for the first time, according to new figures published by the International Energy Agency.
OECD energy supply: 1971-2014
TPES* = Total primary energy supply
However, just as energy production has increased, the IEA found that energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 1.4% to 11.9 Gt in 2014, representing an 8% decline since 2007, when emissions sat at 12.9 Gt.
OECD CO2 emissions from fuel combustion (1971-2014)
Trends differed across various OECD regions, with CO2 emissions in OECD Europe falling by 5% in 2014. In OECD Asia Oceania, emissions fell by 2.5%. However, in OECD Americas, emissions rose by 0.9%.
Unsurprisingly, OECD electricity generation was still dominated by fossil fuels in 2014, accounting for 59%, made up primarily of coal and gas. However, hydro electricity generation accounted for 13% in 2014, while non-hydro renewables and waste rose to 10%.
OECD electricity generation mix: 2014
Solar PV led the way, increasing 26%, followed by wind with an increase of 9%, leading at least in part to a decrease of the share of fossil fuel in the OECD’s total electricity generation by 2%.
With these increases, renewable electricity generation reached a record high.
OECD electricity generation from renewables: 1971-2014
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