Trend of Global Energy Consumption: Oil remains Main Fuel 07-14-2016

During the last year, it has emerged a long term trend of the global energy demand and supply. The global energy consumption has further slowed down; meanwhile, the energy structure has been going through a transition to low-carbon pattern.


On 7 July, the BP Statistical Yearbook of World Energy (Chinese Version) (hereafter called Yearbook), with 65 years of publishing history, released its latest version in Beijing.


Global Primary Energy Demand has Only Increase by 1%


According to the Yearbook, the global primary energy demand has only increased by 1% in 2015, which was quite near to the 1.1% of 2014, but far lower than the 1.9% of the average increase of the past 10 years.


This has been the lowest year-growth-rate since 1998 apart from the recession of 2009. According to the Yearbook, the reasons for China’s slow-growth of energy consumption were the continually weak global economy and economic transition from industrial-based economy to service-oriented economy. In 2015, the energy consumption increase of China, which was 1.5%, hit the bottom among all those years since 1998, while average growth rate of the past 10 years was 5.3%.


First Increase of Oil Market Share Since 1999


According to the Yearbook, oil remains the main fuel all over the globe. In 2015, oil accounted for 32.9% of the global energy consumption, which was the first increase in terms of the market share since 1999.


In terms of crude oil price, the spot average price of Brent oil of 2015, which turned to be the lowest annually average price since the year of 2004, was USD52.39 per barrels, which was 46.56 lower than that of 2014. The major reason for the oil price slump at the end of 2015 was that the OPEC countries, especially Iraq and Saudi Arabia, hugely increased their oil output.


In terms of oil consumption volume, the global oil consumption has increased by 1.9 million barrels (1.9%) per day last year, which was almost as twice as the recent historical averages (1%) and far higher than that of 2014 (1.1million barrels per day).


In terms of oil refining, although the outputs of Central and South America, Africa, and Russia have decreased, the global crude oil processing volume of last year increased by 1.8 million barrels per day, with the year-on-year growth of 2.3%--as three times as the average increase of the past 10 years. On the contrary, the global refining capacity just increased by 450,000 barrels per day -- the smallest increase among the past 23 consecutive years.


In terms of oil reserves, the world’s proven oil reserves decreased by 2.4 billion barrels to 1.6976 trillion barrels in 2015. According to BP, this was the second time that they found the decline in the global proven reserves based on their database since the first reserve decrease of 1998. However, in the past 10 years, the proven oil reserves all over the globe increased by 24%, which means 320 billion barrels that would support the global production for 50.7 years.


Proportion of Natural Gas in Primary Energy Consumption Increased to 23.8%


According to the Yearbook, the global natural gas consumption increased by 1.7% in 2015, which was 0.6% higher than that of 2014, but still lower than 2.3%, the average growth of the past decade. Up to the end of 2015, the natural gas accounted for 23.8% of the primary energy consumption.


In terms of output, the global natural gas increased by 2.2%, which was faster than the consumption growth. The United States gained the largest increment by the growth of 5.4%, while the output of the Europe Union plummeted.


In terms of the trade of natural gas, the global natural gas trade rebounded in 2015 with the increase of 3.3%, among which the liquefied natural gas increased by 1.8%. Internationally, the trade volume of natural gas has taken up 30.1% of the total trade volume. And among the natural gas trade, the proportion of the pipeline gas has increased to 67.5%.


Global Coal Demand Encountered with Biggest Decline


According to the Yearbook, the global coal consumption decreased by 1.8% in 2015, far lower than the average growth rate of the past 10 years (2.1%). BP proved that this was the biggest decline based on their database. The proportion of the coal to the global primary energy consumption, which was deemed as the record low since 2005, decreased to 29.2%. All the net decrease of coal consumption were caused by the US and China.


In terms of the output, the global output of coal reduced by 4%, among which the US, Indonesia, and China encountered huge reduction in production. The coal output of the US, Indonesia and China respectively decreased by 10.4%, 14.4%, and 2%.

Growth in global nuclear energy generation all were contributed by China


According to the Yearbook, the global nuclear energy generation increased by 1.3% last year, among which almost all the growth were contributed by China. Up to the end of 2015, the nuclear energy taken up 4.4% of the global primary energy consumption. And China surpassed South Korea as the top four in terms of the nuclear energy generation with output increased by 28.7% on year-on-year basis last year.


China Remains the Largest Producer All Over the Globe


In terms of the hydroelectricity, the global hydropower capacity increased by 1% last year, lower than the average of the last 10 years (3%). Up to 2015, the hydroelectricity accounted for 6.8% of the global primary energy consumption.


China remains to be the largest producer of hydroelectricity all over the world with the increase of generating capacity of 5%. Although the growth rate was less than the half of the historical average, almost all the net increase of global hydroelectricity were all contributed by China. Moreover, the hydroelectricity generation was greatly increased in Turkey and Scandinavia, but declined in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil.


China Surpassed Germany and the US to be Top 1 in terms of Solar Electrical Energy Generation


In terms of the renewable energy, according to the Yearbook, the renewable energy has taken up 2.8% of the global energy consumption, higher than that of 10 years ago (0.8%). The output of the renewable energy generation increased by 15.2%, a little bit lower than the average of that in the last 10 years (15.9%). Up to the end of 2015, the renewable energy accounted for 6.7% of the global power generation.


China has surpassed Germany and the US to be top 1 in terms of solar electrical energy generation. The global solar power generation increased by 32.6%, among which China ranked the first with the increase of 69.7% followed by Japan and the US.


Wind energy remains to be the largest source for renewable energy generating all around the world with the proportion of 52.2%; while the global output of bio-fuel only increased by 0.9%, much lower than the average of the last decade (14.3%).


*This article is edited and translated by CCM. The original article comes from


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