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Key features in electricity and CO2: world

F Total electricity (and heat1) output grew by 56% between 1990 and 2008, with a marked reduction in growth in the year 2008 (1.5% against 3.3% over the previous decade).

F OECD North America, Europe and China account for 60.5% of global power output in 2008. These three regions also account for 61.6% of electricity-related CO2 emissions in that year, with China as the first emitter.

F China recorded the fastest growth, at 11.3% per annum between 1998 and 2008, followed by the Middle East region, with 6.5%. Other regions with fast growing electricity-related CO2 emissions include India and the rest of Asia, driven by economic growth and reliance on coal and gas in electricity generation.

F The CO2 emissions intensity of electricity and heat generation has grown by 6% since 1990, to 0.5 tonnes of CO2 emitted per megawatt-hour produced (tCO^/MWh). Global CO2 emissions from combined electricity and heat production grew by 64.9% over the same period.

F The share of electricity produced from non-fossil fuels has been decreasing slowly since 1995, in spite of growth in nuclear, hydro, and other renewables in the electricity mix.

F Non-hydro renewables are the fastest growing source of electricity; coal dominates global output with 41% of the total. Gas has gained market shares over oil, which supplied only 5.5% of the global production of electricity in 2008.

F Industry is the largest consumer of electricity, with about 42% of total final consumption in 2008, against 45% in 1990. Its share has been increasing again since 2003 as the result of industrial growth in Asia.

F Wind capacity witnessed extraordinary growth in the last couple of decades, with 114 GW installed in 2000-2010 compared to 9 GW in the previous decade. Wind power generation has become the largest non-hydro renewable source since 2007, ahead of biofuels. Coal and gas have nonetheless largely dominated capacity additions since 1990.

1. In this report, heat refers to the output of combined electricity and heat plants.

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