Upper middle income
Lower middle income
Highest and lowest scoring countries
Use and distribution of these data are subject to IEA terms and conditions.
Electricity production from coal sources (% of total)
Sources of electricity refer to the inputs used to generate electricity. Coal refers to all coal and brown coal, both primary (including hard coal and lignite-brown coal) and derived fuels (including patent fuel, coke oven coke, gas coke, coke oven gas, and blast furnace gas). Peat is also included in this category.
IEA Statistics © OECD/IEA 2014 (http://www.iea.org/stats/index.asp), subject to https://www.iea.org/t&c/termsandconditions/
Environment: Energy use & security
Statistical concept and methodology
Electricity production is total number of kWh generated by power plants separated into electricity plants and CHP plants. The International Energy Agency (IEA) compiles data on energy inputs used to generate electricity. IEA data for countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are based on national energy data adjusted to conform to annual questionnaires completed by OECD member governments. In addition, estimates are sometimes made to complete major aggregates from which key data are missing, and adjustments are made to compensate for differences in definitions. The IEA makes these estimates in consultation with national statistical offices, oil companies, electric utilities, and national energy experts.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, coal has been the fastest-growing global energy source; it currently provides about 40 percent of the world's electricity needs. Coal is the second source of primary energy in the world after oil, and the first source of electricity generation.. The last decade's growth in coal use has been driven by the economic growth of developing economies, mainly China. Irrespective of its economic benefits for the countries, the environmental impact of coal use, especially that coming from carbon dioxide emissions, is significant, and efforts are underway globally to build more efficient plants, to retrofit old plants and to decommission the oldest and least efficient coal plants. Use of energy is important in improving people's standard of living. But electricity generation also can damage the environment. Whether such damage occurs depends largely on how electricity is generated. For example, burning coal releases twice as much carbon dioxide - a major contributor to global warming - as does burning an equivalent amount of natural gas. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions result primarily from fossil fuel combustion and cement manufacturing. In combustion different fossil fuels release different amounts of carbon dioxide for the same level of energy use: oil releases about 50 percent more carbon dioxide than natural gas, and coal releases about twice as much. Nuclear energy does not generate carbon dioxide emissions, but it produces other dangerous waste products.
Limitations and exceptions
IEA occasionally revises its time series to reflect political changes. For example, the IEA has constructed historical energy statistics for countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition, energy statistics for other countries have undergone continuous changes in coverage or methodology in recent years as more detailed energy accounts have become available. Breaks in series are therefore unavoidable.
Electricity production shares may not sum to 100 percent because other sources of generated electricity (such as geothermal, solar, and wind) are not shown. Restricted use: Please contact the International Energy Agency for third-party use of these data.