China’s power generation continues to grow steadily.
Global power generation, which had increased by nearly 3%/year over the 2000-2018 period, slowed down significantly in 2019 (+1%), reflecting the lower electricity demand due to relative milder weather conditions and slower economic growth.
Coal-fired power generation (36% of the global power mix in 2019) decreased by 3.5%, offset by an increase in gas-fired (+3.2%), nuclear (+3.6%), wind (+12%) and solar (+24%) generation.
China was the main contributor to the global power generation growth, with a rising renewable and thermal production; power generation increased by 4.7% in 2019, less than half the 2000-2018 average (+10%/year).
The lower electricity demand slashed power generation by 1.2% in the USA, where the rising gas-fired and renewable production led to large coal-fired generation cutbacks. In Europe, the economic slowdown translated into a 1.8% decline, especially in Germany (reduction of coal-fired generation) and France (lower nuclear and hydropower availability), despite a 25% surge in Belgium (improved nuclear availability and higher wind generation).
Power generation continued to fall in Japan (-3.4%) and dipped in South Korea (after a decade of growth) against declining electricity consumption. It also stagnated in India, where coal-fired generation decreased for the first time since 1973.
According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, global CO2 emissions from energy combustion increased by 0.9% to 38 GtCO2 in 2019, driven by China (+3.4%, accounting for 30% of global emissions) and India (+1.6%, 7% of global emissions). Meanwhile, Japan (3% of global emissions) reduced its energy-related CO2 emissions by 2.1%, the United States (13% of total emissions) by 2.6% and Russia (5% of total emissions) by 0.8%.
According to the European Commission, primary energy consumption declined by 0.7% in 2018 (-0.1% only for final energy consumption), which is insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. The highest annual reductions in primary energy consumption were posted in Belgium, Austria and Greece, whereas the largest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Between 2005 and 2018, primary energy consumption decreased in all Member States except Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia and Poland. Primary energy intensity fell in all Member States between 2005 and 2018; however, it grew in Denmark, Estonia and Luxemburg in recent years (between 2015 and 2018).
According to the Swiss government, final energy consumption in Switzerland slightly increased in 2019 (+0.3%) due to cooler temperatures, economic growth (+0.9%), demographic growth (+0.7%) and increasing fleet of motor vehicles (+0.8%). This rising trend was offset by continued energy efficiency and substitution effects.
According to preliminary figures from Citepa, France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 0.9% in 2019, from 445 MtCO2eq in 2018 to 441 MtCO2eq in 2019. This is due to a decline in GHG emissions from the residential and tertiary sector (-2.7%, i.e. -2.2 MtCO2eq, with a 2.3% drop for households and a 3.2% decline for services), in the energy sector (-0.7%, including -1.5% for power generation), and in waste processing (-2.2%). In 2019, CO2 emissions dipped by 1%, from 331.5 Mt to 328.2 Mt (-3.3 Mt), while methane emissions contracted by 0.7% (-0.4 MtCO2eq).