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Electricity production

Slight decrease in global power generation in 2020, after a slowdown in 2019

Electricity production

Slight decrease in global power generation in 2020, after a slowdown in 2019

Breakdown by country (TWh)

Trend over 1990 - 2020 - TWh



China’s power generation continues to grow steadily despite the global crisis

Slight decrease in global power generation in 2020, after a slowdown in 2019

The lower electricity demand due to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 led to a 0.6% decrease in power generation, which had already slowed down in 2019 over milder weather conditions and slower economic growth, contrasting with an average 3%/year increase over the 2000-2018 period. Coal-fired power generation (35% of the global power mix in 2020) and nuclear generation decreased by 4.5% and 3.5%, respectively, partly offset by an increase in wind (+12%), solar (+20%) and hydropower (+2%) generation. Power generation grew by 3.7% in China thanks to a dynamic electricity demand, an 18% growth in renewable power generation and a steady coal-fired power generation. The lower electricity demand slashed power generation by 3.1% in the USA, where coal-fired power generation collapsed due to the rising gas-fired and renewable production. In the EU as well, the economic crisis led to a 4.6% drop in power generation, especially from coal and lignite and nuclear, that was partly offset by a higher renewable production. Power generation also declined in India (-2.5%), for the first time in 50 years, as the country was hit by the global downturn and coal-fired power generation contracted by nearly 5%. It also decreased in Japan, South Korea, Russia, Latin America (especially in Brazil and Mexico), and in Africa (despite a rising generation in Nigeria). It remained stable in the Middle East (higher production in Iran offset by declines in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries).

Global Energy Trends - 2021 Edition

Consolidated 2020 energy and emissions statistics with 2021 estimates, including COVID-19 impact and structural changes.

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Global Energy & CO2 Data

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According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 6.1 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in 2020 (down from 6.2 GW in 2019), including 3 GW in China, 1.5 GW in the Netherlands, and 0.7 GW in Belgium. More than 35 GW of offshore wind capacity is currently operational, with 29% of the total in the UK, 28% in China and 22% in Germany.



South Africa’s total greenhouse gas emissions excluding FOLU (forestry and other land use) increased by 14% between 2000 and 2017 to 513 MtCO2eq, according to the country’s 7th National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Report. The energy sector is the largest contributor to emissions excluding FOLU (80%) and is responsible for 97% of the increase over 2000-2017. Energy industries were responsible for 61% of emissions from the energy sector in 2017. This was followed by transport (13%), other sectors (9%) and manufacturing industries and construction (7%).



According to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEIAŞ), installed wind capacity in Turkey reached the 10 GW threshold in early August 2021. Most of the capacity is located in the Izmir province (1.7 GW), followed by Balıkesir (1,300 MW), Çanakkale (850 MW), Manisa (750 MW), and Istanbul (420 MW). Wind represented 10% of the installed capacity connected to the transmission network (10,010 MW out of 98,800 MW) and over half (51.9 GW) was considered "clean" electricity. In the first half of 2021, wind power accounted for around 9% of the power generation, replacing nearly US$1bn in gas imports.



According to preliminary statistics from the Indian Ministry of Coal, India’s production of non-coking coal and lignite declined by 1.7% in the fiscal year 2020-21 to 708 Mt, including 671 Mt of non-coking coal (-1%) and 37 Mt of lignite (-12%). Of the total output of non-coking coal, 96% was produced the public sector, including 83% by Coal India Limited (CIL). Most of the lignite was extracted by NLC India Limited (53%). The country imported 164 Mt of non-coking coal in 2020-21 (-17%), mainly from Indonesia (56%), South Africa (19%) and Australia (11%).