𝗯𝗽’𝘀 (𝟳𝟬𝘁𝗵) 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭

Planetary Energy -

𝗯𝗽’𝘀 (𝟳𝟬𝘁𝗵) 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭

Energy developments

  • Primary energy consumption fell by 4.5% in 2020 – the largest decline since 1945.
      • The drop in energy consumption was driven mainly by oil, which contributed almost three-quarters of the net decline, although natural gas and 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. China posted the largest increase (2.1%), one of only a handful of countries where energy demand grew last year.

              Carbon emissions

              • Carbon emissions from energy use fell by 6.3%, to their lowest level since 2011. As with primary energy, this was the largest decline since the end of World War II.


              • The oil price (Dated Brent) averaged $41.84/bbl in 2020 – the lowest since 2004. 
                  • Oil consumption 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). China was virtually the only country where consumption increased (220,000 b/d). 
                          • Global oil production shrank by 6.6 million b/d, with OPEC accounting 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. 
                              • Refinery utilization fell by a record 8.0 percentage points to 74.1%, the lowest level since 1985.

                               Natural gas

                              • Natural gas prices declined to multi-year lows: US Henry Hub averaged $1.99/mmBtu in 2020 – the lowest since 1995, while Asian LNG prices (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 in primary energy continued to rise, reaching a record high of 24.7%. 
                                      • Declines in gas demand were led by Russia (-33 bcm) and the US (-17 bcm), with China (22 bcm) and Iran (10 bcm) contributing the largest increases. 
                                          • Inter-regional gas trade reduced by 5.3%, completely accounted for by a 54 bcm (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), with OECD coal consumption falling to its lowest level in our data series back to 1965. 
                                                  • China and Malaysia were notable exceptions, increasing their consumption by 0.5 EJ and 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).

                                                       Renewables, hydro and nuclear energy

                                                      • 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 1.3 EJ (20%), however, wind (1.5 EJ) provided the largest contribution to renewables growth. 
                                                              • Solar capacity expanded by 127 GW, while wind capacity grew 111 GW – almost double its previous highest annual increase. 
                                                                  • China was 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. 
                                                                      • Hydroelectricity grew 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).


                                                                      • Electricity generation fell by 0.9% – more than the decline in 2009 (-0.5%), the only other year in our data series (which starts in 1985) when electricity demand fell. 
                                                                          • The share of renewables in power generation increased from 10.3% to 11.7%, while coal’s share fell 1.3 percentage points to 35.1% – a new low in our data series.

                                                                           Key minerals

                                                                          • Lithium production fell 4.6% on a drop in Australian output, while Cobalt output rose 2.9% as production in the Democratic Republic of Congo partially recovered from its dip in 2019. 
                                                                              • Rare earth metals production expanded by 23.2%, driven by strong growth in Australia and the US.

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