Last week the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2o22 has been released, covering energy data up to 2021. The review provides a comprehensive picture of supply and demand for major energy sources at a national level. It is a primary data source for many businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
Since its release, I have analyzed the data and created graphs. I strive to uncover nuggets of information and analyze data in unique ways. In future articles I will delve deeper into the different energy categories, but today I just want to give a high-level overview of this year’s review.
Energy usage and consumption statistics continue to be dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Energy consumption and production fell dramatically in 2020, but since then demand has rebounded. But supply chain constraints have impacted the responsiveness of power producers. The result has been high energy prices.
Global primary energy consumption increased by 5.5% last year to reach a new all-time high. This is the fastest energy consumption growth since the early 1970s, and reflects strong global demand rebounding from the Covid-19 related drop in energy consumption in 2020.
Fossil fuels accounted for 82% of primary energy consumption last year, essentially the same as in 2020, but down from 83% in 2019 and 85% five years ago. The remaining share of primary energy consumption was made up of hydropower (6.8%), renewables (6.7%) and nuclear power (4.2%).
Global carbon dioxide emissions have rebounded from 2020 levels, rising 5.9% in 2021. However, this remains about 1% below 2019 and 2019 levels.
Oil still accounts for nearly a third of global energy consumption. In 2021, the world consumed 94.1 million barrels per day (BPD) of oil. This represents an increase of 6.0% compared to 2020, but remains 3.7% lower than consumption in 2019.
Global oil production increased by 1.4 million bpd in 2021, but remains 5.0 million bpd below 2019 levels. U.S. production remains 529,000 barrels per day below 2019 levels.
Refining capacity fell by almost 500,000 BPD in 2021, which was the first drop in 30 years. This is one of the factors exacerbating the upward pressure on the prices of finished products such as gasoline and diesel.
Natural gas has been the fastest growing fossil fuel in recent years, with a global average annual growth rate of 2.2% over the past decade.
After falling in 2020, global natural gas consumption increased by 5.3% to reach a new all-time high.
In 2021, the United States remained the world leader in the production and consumption of natural gas. The United States produced 23% of the world’s natural gas in 2021. Russia was in second place with a world share of 17%.
Global coal consumption has been on a downward trend since peaking in 2014. But consumption jumped 6.3% in 2020, almost reaching 2014 levels.
China’s coal consumption rose 4.9% to a new all-time high. China remains by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, with a global share of 53.8% in consumption and a 50.8% share in production.
Coal demand in OECD countries increased in 2021, but remained the second lowest level in the history of the review, which dates back to 1965. Coal demand in the United States in 2021 also rebounded, but remained the second lowest level since the review began tracking it. in 1965.
Coal remained the main fuel for global electricity generation in 2021, with its share increasing to 36% from 35.1% in 2020.
Renewable and nuclear energies
Renewables continue to grow rapidly. Global renewable energy consumption increased by 15% in 2021 to reach a new record.
Solar electricity consumption rose by a record 1.7 exajoules (EJ) – a 22% increase – but wind power (+2.5 EJ) provided the largest contribution to energy growth renewable.
Together, wind and solar provided 2,894 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2021. For perspective, in 2010 that number was 380 TWh.
Wind and solar reached a 10.2% share of electricity generation in 2021, which was the first time that wind and solar exceeded more than 10% of global generation.
Nuclear consumption increased in 2021 by 4.2% to its highest level since 2006. The United States remains the world’s largest consumer of nuclear energy, with a 29% share of the global total. China continues to increase its consumption at a rapid pace and now holds a global share of 14.6%. As a reminder, in 2010, China had only a 2.7% share of the world’s nuclear energy consumption.
As I said a year ago, I expected companies that produce, transport or sell oil and natural gas to do well for the foreseeable future. This has certainly been the case as demand has returned in full force.
But I believe the story of wind and solar power growth has many more years to go. As the world continues to electrify its transportation systems, there will be a substantial increase in demand for electricity. Renewable energies will be called upon to bear an increasingly heavy load.
Supply chain issues will hold to constrain the global energy system for the foreseeable future, although high inflation could push the world into recession, which could drastically change this outlook.