Huge variation in electricity supply, but the transition has begun

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a trading club of the high-income economies. Though just 38 countries are members, it has 38% of the world’s electricity demand. The grouping is inclusive of Europe and North America, as well as Japan and South Korea, so there is a huge variation in electricity supply across the OECD, but all have begun their transition to clean power. Fossil fuels provide 52% of the electricity for OECD countries.

Ember’s Global Electricity Review 2023 revealed that extreme temperatures in summer and winter 2022 pushed up power demand, driving coal generation up. Amongst OECD countries, Germany saw the largest increase of 17 TWh. Mexico, Spain and Italy had annual increases higher than 50%.

However, coal generation fell in some countries. The US showed the largest fall in coal generation (-70 TWh) amongst other OECD members. New Zealand and Portugal almost halted coal generation in 2022, showing yearly drops of 94% and 93%, respectively.

Denmark has the highest share of wind power (at 55% of the electricity mix) and Chile has the highest share of solar (at 17% of the electricity mix), ahead of Australia (at 13% of the electricity mix).

The IEA defines the ‘Advanced Economies’ as OECD countries plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta and Romania. These countries must phase-out coal by 2030 and reach 100% clean power by 2035, in order to keep the 1.5 degree goal in reach.



Last updated: May 2023

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