World electricity generation grew by 2.8% in 2017, close to its 10-year average
Almost all that growth came from the developing world. OECD demand edged up slightly, but essentially the decoupling of economic growth and power demand in the OECD seen over the past 10 years continued, with OECD power broadly flat over the past decade.
Coal remains the world’s dominant source of power, with a share of 38.1% in 2017, almost as much as natural gas (23.2%) and hydroelectricity (15.9%) combined, which sit in second and third positions. Renewables’ share of power generation was 8.4% in 2017, having risen 6.1% percentage points since 2007. Over the same period, nuclear’s share declined by 3.4 percentage points while coal lost 3.1 percentage points. The share of coal in the power sector in 1998 was 38% – exactly the same as in 2017 – with the slight edging down in recent years simply reversing the drift up in the early 2000s associated with China’s rapid expansion.