Electricity production from fossil fuels is dropping rapidly – IEA


The latest International Energy Agency ‘Monthly Electricity Statistics’ report, which includes May 2023 data, shows that for the OECD membership total net electricity production amounted to 831.5 TWh in May, down by 3.9% compared to the same month last year.

This decrease was led by reduced generation from fossil fuel sources (-9.8% y-o-y), driven by coal (-19.7% y-o-y) and natural gas (-4.3% y-o-y). Overall, the share of fossil fuels in the OECD electricity mix plunged to 45.2%, around three percentage points lower than in May 2022.

Total electricity production from renewable sources slightly increased 1.5% y-o-y, as strong generation from solar (+ 15.1% y-o-y) and hydropower (+2.2% y-o-y) compensated for lower wind power output (-7.3% y-o-y). The share of renewables in the OECD electricity mix reached 38.2%, up by two percentage points y-o-y.

Nuclear power increased 2.0% y-o-y, as reduced output in OECD Europe (-1.4% y-o-y) and in the OECD Americas (-1.1% y-o-y) was offset by higher production in OECD Asia-Oceania (+25.8% y-o-y). Overall, the share of nuclear power in the OECD electricity mix remained stable at 16.3%.

Notably, in Serbia, electricity production from hydropower amounted to 1.3 TWh in May 2023, up by 42.8% compared to the same month last year. This was the result of increased rainfall in the country, which boosted water inflows in major hydropower plants. Overall, the share of hydropower in Serbia jumped to a record-high of 48.2%, overtaking coal (43.8% share) as the country’s largest source of electricity in May 2023.

Simultaneously, the IEA’s ‘Monthly Gas Statistics’ report, also including May 2023 data, shows that for OECD membership production of natural gas increased by 0.5% compared to May 2022. But imports of natural gas were 18.4% lower on a year-on-year basis, and total OECD exports decreased by 12.9% in the same period. Gross consumption of natural gas decreased by 1.4% in May on a year-on year basis.