EC Fossil Fuels Still Supply 84 Percent Of World Energy

This week BP released its Statistical Review of World Energy 2020. The Review covers energy data through 2019 and provides a comprehensive picture of supply and demand for major energy sources on a country-level basis.

This annual report is one of the most important sources of global energy data. It is a primary source of data for numerous companies, government agencies, and non-government organizations.

As I do every year, following the Review’s release I analyze the data, create graphics, and try to provide a unique interpretation. I strive to find hidden gems or overlooked facts in the data.

Today I want to cover the major highlights of this year’s Review.

Primary energy consumption grew by 1.3% last year, which was less than half the rate of 2018 (2.8%). Nevertheless, this still represents the 10th consecutive year that the world sets a new all-time high for energy consumption.

The largest share of the increase in energy consumption, 41%, was contributed by renewables. Natural gas contributed the second-largest increment with 36% of the increase. However, as an overall share of energy consumption, oil remained on top with 33% of all energy consumption. The remainder of global energy consumption came from coal (27%), natural gas (24%), hydropower (6%), renewables (5%), and nuclear power (4%).

Cumulatively, fossil fuels — shown below in shades of gray — still accounted for 84% of the world’s primary energy consumption in 2019.

(Click on image to enlarge)

China was responsible for three-quarters of the world’s energy consumption growth, followed by India and Indonesia. The U.S. and Germany posted the largest declines.

Carbon dioxide emissions set a fourth consecutive new all-time high. However, emissions growth last year was only 0.5%, which was less than half the 10-year average. Since the negotiation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to curb emissions, global carbon dioxide emissions have risen by 50%.

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