IEA statistic shows electricity production recovery over OECD countries

Yoana Cholteeva 16 October 2020 (Last Updated October 16th, 2020 17:14)

A recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, featuring July 2020 data, has seen electricity production reach and exceed its seasonal levels, following the Covid-19 outbreak over the countries within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

IEA statistic shows electricity production recovery over OECD countries
Natural gas was generally responsible for the increase, with a 311.4TWh output in July 2020. Source: Bert Kaufmann

The ‘Monthly OECD Electricity Statistics’ report showed that the total net electricity production in the OECD countries reached 932.6TWh in July 2020, which marks a 12.2% increase compared to June 2020. After being lower than average for four months because of the Covid-19, power production recovered back to its seasonal levels.

Renewable production reached 263.5TWh, marking an increase of 8.2% compared to July 2019, with the main driver of the increase being solar power production, which went up to 47.7TWh in July 2020, rising by 21.2% compared to July 2019.

Indicating the steep growth of the solar power sector, solar production rose by 19.6% between January and July 2020, compared to the same period last year.

Conventional thermal production in July 2020 stood at 544.1TWh, 3.9% lower than in July 2019 and 21.3% higher than in June 2020.

Due to rising temperatures and governments lifting lockdown measures across the OECD countries, the increase in power production in July 2020 was provoked by conventional thermal production.

Natural gas was generally responsible for the increase, with a 311.4TWh output in July 2020, up by 2.5%, compared to the previous year and by 23.0% compared to June 2020. Coal production also saw an uptick of 21.6% compared to June 2020 to reach 188.6TWh.

Source: IEA

Following a similar trend, US saw natural gas production reach 180.5TWh in July 2020, 6.4% higher than in July 2019 and 29.4% higher than in June 2020, marking the highest output on record.

Natural gas output was 41.0TWh higher than in June 2020, taking total production up due to a seasonal trend.

Between January and July 2020, natural gas was the fastest growing source of electric power, as a result of exceptionally low prices, the coal-to-gas fuel switch, and added natural gas capacity.