Global energy demand and carbon emissions grew at their fastest rates in seven years, BP (BP) said in its annual energy review, with the oil giant’s chief economist saying “the world is on an unsustainable path.”
In its Statistical Review of World Energy 2019, the British major said global energy demand rose 2.9% in 2018 while carbon emissions grew 2%, faster than anytime since 2010-11. More than two-thirds of the total demand increase came from China, the US, and India, with US consumption the fastest for 30 years.
“There is a growing mismatch between the societal demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress, with energy demand and carbon emissions growing at their fastest rate for years,” said Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist. “The world is on an unsustainable path.”
BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said weather conditions spurred the energy growth as “families and businesses increased their demand for cooling and heating in response to an unusually large number of hot and cold days.”
The US posted the largest-ever increases in annual oil and gas production, BP said, with most of the gains originating from shale plays.
Global oil consumption rose 1.4 million barrels per day, or 1.5%, with China consuming 680,000 barrels and the US 500,000 barrels every day. Oil production rose 2.2 million barrels a day with most of the net increase coming from the US. BP said the 410,000 barrel growth in Canada and 390,000 in Saudi Arabia were offset by declines in Venezuela of 580,000 and 310,000 in Iran.
Natural-gas consumption and production rose 5.3% and 5.2% respectively, in “the strongest rates of growth for both demand and output for over 30 years,” BP said. The company said gas drove the growth in energy consumption, contributing more than 40% of the gain.
Gas consumption rose 195 billion cubic meters, driven by the US, China, Russia and Iran. Production rose by 190 bcm, with almost half coming from the US as it posted the largest annual growth of any country ever.
Renewables’ 14.5% growth last year was close to the 2017 record-breaking gain, but only accounted for about one-third of total power generation growth. Hydroelectric generation rose 3.1% and nuclear was up 2.4%.
Coal consumption and production rose for the second-straight year after three years of declines. Consumption rose 1.4% while production increased 4.3% Electricity generation rose 3.7%, with China accounting for more than half of the gain, followed by India and the US. Renewables contributed to a third of the net increase, followed by coal and natural gas. Coal accounted for 38% of generation while renewables’ share rose to 9.3% from 8.4%.
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