Breakdown by country (TWh)



Chinese electricity consumption grew at its fastest pace since 2014.

Power consumption accelerated again in 2017 (+2.6%)

Electricity consumption globally increases at a faster pace than other energy vectors due to electrification of energy uses. Most of the 2017 increase in global electricity consumption occurred in Asia. As in 2016, the electricity consumption growth in China, amid an industrial recovery and despite strong energy efficiency improvements, contributed to more than half of the world electricity consumption rebound. Power demand also grew in Japan for the first time since 2013, in India, Indonesia and South Korea.
Electricity consumption in the United States, which had remained broadly stable since 2011 due to energy efficiency improvements, declined for the second year in a row in 2017, whereas it rose in Canada.
It remained stable in the European Union (increase in Italy, Poland, Germany and Spain, decline in the UK) and grew in Turkey.
Electricity consumption also increased significantly in Iran and in Egypt.

Global Energy Trends, 2019 edition

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Chinese investments in thermal power generation reached record low in 2018

According to the China Electricity Council (CEC), total investments in power generation in China declined by 3.9% in 2018 to CNY 278.7bn (US$40bn), as investments in thermal power generation contracted by 8.3% to CNY78.6bn (US$11.35bn), its lowest level since 2004: investments in coal-fired power generation dipped by 8.8% to CNY 64.4bn (US$9.3bn), to the advantage of investments in hydropower (+13% to CNY 70bn (US$10bn)). Investments declined in nuclear power generation (-1.6% to CNY 44.7bn (US$6.45bn)), but also in wind and solar: investments in wind power decreased by 5.2% to CNY 64.6bn (US$9.3bn), while those in solar power generation fell by 27% to CNY 20.7bn (US$3bn). This fall is related to Chinese policies aimed at tackling a subsidy payment shortfall and at curbing overcapacities. Investments in transmission remained stable, at around CNY 534bn (US$77bn), but rose by 6.4% in distribution to CNY 302bn (US$43.6bn).

According to the CEC, renewable development, coal consumption cut and improvements in transmission and distribution losses helped reducing CO2 emissions from the power sector by around 13.68 GtCO2 over the 2006-2018 period. The average carbon intensity would have decreased by 19% between 2005 and 2018, from around 841gCO2/kWh to 592 gCO2/kWh. In 2018, non-fossil power generation rose by 11% to more than 30% of the total power generation in China, thanks to soaring wind and solar production. Moreover, curtailment rates are improving: in 2018, the average curtailment rate for wind power was 7% (i.e. 28 TWh), down from 12% in 2017, while it stood at 3% (5.5 TWh) for solar power, compared to 5.8% in 2017.


Brazil exceeds 1 GW of distributed power generation capacity

According to the Brazilian energy regulator ANEEL, the micro and distributed mini generation capacity in Brazil has passed the 1 GW mark. Most of the distributed generation capacity is solar PV, with 82,600 small installations totalling 870 MW, followed by 86 small hydropower plants totalling 81 MW. Distributed capacities are mainly located in Minas Gerais (16,700 facilities totalling 212 MW), Rio Grande do Sul (12,000  units, cumulating 144 MW) and São Paulo (14,500 units, or 117 MW). 


Australia's GHG emissions rose by 0.7% in 2018

According to the latest Quarterly Update report on the estimates of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Australia rose by 0.7% in 2018 to 538.2 MtCO2eq (+3.5 MtCO2eq).

Most of the 2018 increase came from stationary energy installations excluding power plants (+6%, +5.8 MtCO2eq), as LNG exports surged by 22%. The LNG sector was a large contributor to fugitive emissions, which rose by 4.9% (+2.7 MtCO2eq), due to flaring and venting of CH4 and CO2. Emissions related to industrial process also grew by 2.9% (+1 MtCO2eq), as energy-intensive steel and aluminium production rose by 11% and 6%, respectively. Transport emissions also grew by 2.8% (+2.7 MtCO2eq), spurred by a nearly 11% increase in diesel consumption.

These rising trends were partly offset by a decrease in GHG emissions recorded in the power sector (-3.5%, i.e. -6.6 MtCO2eq), as rising renewable power generation enabled to reduce coal and gas consumption. Emissions from the agriculture sector also contracted by 3.3% (-2.3 MtCO2eq), due to a decline in the beef cattle population. Overall, the Australian energy sector - including power plants and other energy facilities - accounted for 52% of total GHG emissions in 2018.

Australian GHG emissions have declined by 9.5% since 1990, thanks to the strong decrease in Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions, that has partly offset the strong increase in emissions from the power sector and other energy plants.


China added 5.2 GW of solar power capacity in the first quarter of 2019

According to the National Energy Administration (NEA) of China, 5.2 GW of new solar capacity were installed in China during the first quarter of 2019, raising the country's solar capacity to nearly 180 GW at the end of March 2019. Centralised solar power plant capacity rose by 2.4 GW to around 123 GW during the first quarter of 2019, while distributed PV capacities increased by 2.8 GW to 53 GW. Solar PV capacity significantly increased in the provinces of Zhejiang (+7.3 GW to 12.1 GW), Inner Mongolia (+4.3 GW to 9.9 GW) and Hubei (+3.8 GW to 5.5 GW).

Solar PV power generation reached 44 TWh in the first quarter of 2019 (+26% compared to the same period of 2018) and power losses continued to decline; they are mainly located in Xinjiang (12% loss rate) and Gansu (7%).