BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 analyses the year 2018, which is characterized by rapid growth of energy demand and rise of carbon emissions.
In 2018, energy consumption increased by 2.9%, exceeding the figures of 2017 (2.2%), marking the fastest growth in the last 10 years. 43% of this growth was driven by natural gas, followed by renewables (14.5%). Three countries, China, the USA and India are responsible for about 70% of the global increase in energy demand with energy consumption in the USA experienced its fastest rate of growth for 30 years. In the European Union, Finland, Switzerland and France were the countries with the highest energy consumption growth rate in 2018.
Other important findings in the report regarding energy developments in 2018 are:
- Oil consumption grew by 1.5%, with China and the USA leading the way. USA oil production set a new global record in 2018, increasing by 2.2 million barrels per day. It should be noted that the average price of oil rose in 2018 to $71.31 per barrel ($54.19 in 2017).
- Mainly driven by shale gas, the USA has also record-breaking achievements in natural gas, increasing its production by about by 86 bcm followed by Russia (34 bcm), Iran (19 bcm) and Australia (17 bcm).
- Coal consumption rose by 1.4%, led by India and China. Coal demand in the OECD countries fell to its lowest level since 1975.
- Although growth in renewable energy slightly fell (14.5% compared to 17% in 2017), renewables remained by far the fastest growing energy source worldwide. China was again the leader in renewable’s growth contributing 45%, more than the entire OECD combined.
- Nuclear generation showed its fastest growth since 2010, rising by 2.4%, with China contributing three quarters of it, followed by Japan.
- Global electricity generation grew by an above-average figure of 3.7%, with China responsible for half of it, ahead of India and the USA. Although renewables led the way in net increase in power generation, their total share in 2018 made 9.3% (8.4% in 2017). Coal, with 38%, is still the number one fuel in global power generation.
The researchers note that the worrying trend in the rise of carbon emissions that started in 2017 (1.6%) only intensified in 2018, resulting in 2.0% growth, the fastest increase for many years.