Historical Electricity Installed Capacity Statistics

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About ... Power generation capacity statistics

Sarah Toupet, Voluntary Contributor


This dataset shows Historical Electricity Installed Capacity for different countries or regions.

Data Source:

- US EIA Historical Statistics for 1980-2012

U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics, Go to EIA database, data accessed 5 August 2014.

Context and definitions

Generator capacity represents the maximum output, commonly expressed in megawatts, that generating equipment can supply to system load, adjusted for ambient conditions.

Capacity Resources: Utility and Independent Power Producers owned generating capacity that is existing or in various stages of planning or construction, less inoperable capacity, plus planned capacity purchases from other resources, less planned capacity sales.

Capacity data consist of both utility and nonutility sources.


Nuclear electricity is the electricity generated by the use of the thermal energy released from the fission of nuclear fuel in a reactor.

Renewable energy represents the energy resources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited. They are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Renewable energy resources include: hydro (conventional hydroelectric power), geothermal, solar, tidal action, ocean thermal, wave action, wind and biomass.

Conventional thermal electricity represents the electricity generated by an electric power plant using coal, petroleum, or gas as its source of energy.

Hydroelectric pumped storage represents the hydroelectricity that is generated during peak loads by using water previously pumped into an elevated storage reservoir during off-peak periods when excess generating capacity is available to do so. When additional generating capacity is needed, the water can be released from the reservoir through a conduit to turbine generators located in a power plant at a lower level. In the hydroelectric pumped storage calculation, we consider the pumped storage facility production minus the energy used for pumping.

Hydroelectricity represents the electricity generated by an electric power plant whose turbines are driven by falling water. It includes electric utility and industrial generation of hydroelectricity, unless otherwise specified. Generation is reported on a net basis, i. e., on the amount of electric energy generated after the electric energy consumed by station auxiliaries and the losses in the transformers that are considered integral parts of the station are deducted.

Hydroelectric capacity excludes hydroelectric pumped storage capacity, where separately reported.

Biomass represents the renewable energy resource constituted by the organic nonfossil material of biological origin. Biomass is wood and waste.


Electricity is a secondary energy source, because it comes from the conversion of primary energy sources, such as coal, nuclear or solar energy.

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