Primary energy consumption fell by 4.5% in 2020 – the largest decline since 1945.
The drop in energy consumption was driven mainly byoil, which contributed almost three-quarters of the net decline, although naturalgasand coal also saw significant declines.
Wind, solar and hydroelectricity all grew despite the fall in overall energy demand.
By country, the US, India and Russia contributed the largest declines in energy consumption.Chinaposted the largest increase (2.1%), one of only a handful of countries where energy demand grew last year.
Carbon emissionsfrom energy use fell by 6.3%, to their lowest level since 2011. As withprimary energy, this was the largest decline since the end of World War II.
Theoilprice (Dated Brent) averaged $41.84/bbl in 2020 – the lowest since 2004.
Oilconsumption fell by a record 9.1 million barrels per day (b/d), or 9.3%, to its lowest level since 2011.
Oil demand fell most in the US (-2.3 million b/d), the EU (-1.5 million b/d) and India (-480,000 b/d).Chinawas virtually the only country where consumption increased (220,000 b/d).
Global oil production shrank by 6.6 millionb/d, withOPECaccounting for two-thirds of the decline. Libya (-920,000 b/d) and Saudi Arabia (-790,000 b/d) saw the largest OPEC declines, while Russia (-1.0 million b/d) and the US (-600,000 b/d) led non-OPEC reductions.
Refineryutilizationfell by a record 8.0 percentage points to 74.1%, the lowest level since 1985.
Naturalgasprices declined to multi-year lows: USHenry Hubaveraged $1.99/mmBtu in 2020 – the lowest since 1995, while AsianLNGprices (Japan Korea Marker) registered their lowest level on record ($4.39/mmBtu).
Natural gas consumption fell by 81 billion cubic metres (bcm), or 2.3%. Nevertheless, the share of gas inprimary energycontinued to rise, reaching a record high of 24.7%.
Declines in gas demand were led by Russia (-33 bcm) and the US (-17 bcm), withChina(22 bcm) and Iran (10 bcm) contributing the largest increases.
Inter-regional gas trade reduced by 5.3%, completely accounted for by a 54bcm(10.9%) drop in pipeline trade.
LNG supply grew by 4 bcm or 0.6%, well below the 10-year average rate of 6.8% p.a. US LNG supply expanded by 14 bcm (29%), but this was partially offset by declines in most other regions, notably Europe and Africa.
Coal consumption fell by 6.2 exajoules (EJ), or 4.2%, led by declines in the US (-2.1 EJ) and India (-1.1 EJ), withOECDcoal consumption falling to its lowest level in our data series back to 1965.
Chinaand Malaysia were notable exceptions, increasing their consumption by 0.5EJand 0.2 EJ respectively.
Global coal production was down 8.3 EJ (5.2%). As with consumption, production growth in China (1.1 EJ) was outweighed by sharp declines in several countries, including the US (-3.6 EJ), Indonesia (-1.3 EJ) and Colombia (-1.0 EJ).
Renewable energy (including biofuels but excluding hydro) rose by 9.7%, slower than the 10-year average (13.4% p.a.) but the increment in energy terms (2.9 EJ) was similar to increases seen in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Solar electricity rose by a record 1.3EJ(20%), however, wind (1.5 EJ) provided the largest contribution to renewables growth.
Solar capacity expanded by 127GW, while wind capacity grew 111 GW – almost double its previous highest annual increase.
Chinawas the largest individual contributor to renewables growth (1.0 EJ), followed by the US (0.4 EJ). Europe, as a region, contributed 0.7 EJ.
Hydroelectricitygrew by 1.0%, again led by China (0.4 EJ),
Nuclear energy fell 4.1%, driven mainly by declines in France (-0.4 EJ), the US (-0.2 EJ) and Japan (-0.2 EJ).