July 17, 2021

The British energy giant bp released the 70th edition of its Statistical Review of World Energy.
Bernard Looney, bp Chief Executive Officer said:
“Global energy demand is estimated to have fallen by 4.5% in 2020. This is the largest recession since the end of World War II, driven by an unprecedented collapse in oil demand, as the imposition of lockdowns around the world decimated transport-related demand. The drop in oil consumption accounted for around three-quarters of the total decline in energy demand. Natural gas showed greater resilience, helped primarily by continuing strong growth in China. Despite the disorder of 2020, renewable energy, led by wind and solar energy, continued to grow prolifically. Remarkably, wind and solar capacity increased by a colossal 238 GW last year – 50% larger than any previous expansion. Likewise, the share of wind and solar generation in the global power mix recorded its largest ever increase. The relative immunity of renewable energy to the events of last year is encouraging.”
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%).
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 the EU and India. China was virtually the only country where consumption increased.
• Global oil production shrank by 6.6 million b/d, with OPEC accounting for two-thirds of the decline. Libya and Saudi Arabia saw the largest OPEC declines, while Russia and the US 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 and the lowest since 1995, while Asian LNG prices registered their lowest level on record.
• Natural gas consumption fell by 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 and the US, with China and Iran contributing the largest increases.
• LNG supply grew by 0.6%, well below the 10-year average rate of 6.8% p.a. US LNG supply expanded by 29%
• Coal consumption fell by 4.2%, led by declines in the US and India, 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. Global coal production was down 5.2%.
Renewables, hydro and nuclear
Renewable energy rose by 9.7%, slower than the 10-year average (13.4% p.a.) but the increment in energy terms was similar to increases seen in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Solar electricity rose by a record 20%, however, wind 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 followed by the US.
Hydroelectricity grew by 1.0%, again led by China, while nuclear energy fell 4.1%, driven mainly by declines in France, the US and Japan.
Bernard Looney added: “In 30 years, the Statistical Review will celebrate its 100th anniversary reporting and analyzing energy developments in 2050, a year which has become the focal point for so many net zero ambitions and aims.”
(Source: BP – Image: Refinery in Jurong Island, Singapore/ReneB)