(Reuters) – Global energy consumption rose by 5.8% in 2021, exceeding pre-pandemic levels as economies revved up activity, while strong growth in renewable energies chipped away at fossil fuel use, according to a benchmark report by BP (BP.L).
Oil demand last year was 3.7 million barrels per day (bpd) below 2019 levels, driven primarily by weakness in the aviation sector, which was 33% below pre-pandemic levels, BP said in its 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy.
The rapid economic recovery also led to a 5.7% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, roughly similar to 2019 levels.
“The pronounced dip in carbon emissions in 2020 was only temporary,” BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said in the report.
Here are some highlights from the report:
CONSUMPTION – BACK TO 2019
- Primary energy demand increased by 5.8% in 2021, exceeding 2019 levels by 1.3%.
- Fossil fuels accounted for 82% of primary energy use last year, against 83% in 2019 and 85% five years ago.
OIL – AVIATION STILL LAGS
- Oil demand in 2021 averaged 96.9 million bpd, some 3.7 million bpd below 2019 levels.
- Much of this weakness was concentrated in aviation-related oil demand, which was more than 2.5 million bpd, or 33%, below 2019 levels.
- Global oil production increased by 1.4 million bpd in 2021, with the OPEC+ group of producing nations accounting for more than 75% of the increase.
NATURAL GAS – LNG GROWTH SLOWS
- Global natural gas demand grew 5.3% in 2021, recovering above pre-pandemic 2019 levels and crossing the 4 trillion cubic metres mark for the first time.
- Its share in primary energy in 2021 was unchanged from the previous year at 24%.
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply grew by 5.6%, or 26 billion cubic metres (bcm), to 516 bcm in 2021, its slowest rate of growth since 2015 (other than in 2020)
COAL – THE RETURN OF KING COAL
- Coal consumption rose by more than 6% in 2021, slightly above 2019 levels and its highest level since 2014.
- China and India accounted for more than 70% of the growth in coal demand in 2021.
RENEWABLES – FASTEST GROWTH
- Renewable primary energy (including biofuels but excluding hydro) increased 15% in 2021, stronger than the previous year’s 9% and any other fuel in 2021.
- Solar and wind capacity continued to grow rapidly in 2021, increasing by 226 gigawatts (GW), close to the record 236 GW jump in 2020.