The IEA’s first Global Energy and CO2 Status Report – released in March 2018 – provides a snapshot of recent global trends and developments across fuels, renewable sources, and energy efficiency and carbon emissions, in 2017.
Global energy demand grew by 2.1% in 2017, according to IEA preliminary estimates, more than twice the growth rate in 2016. Global energy demand in 2017 reached an estimated 14 050 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), compared with 10 035 Mtoe in 2000.
Fossil fuels met over 70% of the growth in energy demand around the world. Natural gas demand increased the most, reaching a record share of 22% in total energy demand. Renewables also grew strongly, making up around a quarter of global energy demand growth, while nuclear use accounted for the remainder of the growth. The overall share of fossil fuels in global energy demand in 2017 remained at 81%, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades despite strong growth in renewables.
Improvements in global energy efficiency slowed down. The rate of decline in global energy intensity, defined as the energy consumed per unit of economic output, slowed to only 1.6% in 2017, much lower than the 2.0% improvement seen in 2016.
The growth in global energy demand was concentrated in Asia, with China and India together representing more than 40% of the increase. Energy demand in all advanced economies contributed more than 20% of global energy demand growth, although their share in total energy use continued to fall. Notable growth was also registered in Southeast Asia (which accounted for 8% of global energy demand growth) and Africa (6%), although per capita energy use in these regions still remains well below the global average.
Latest trends in natural gas
Global natural gas demand grew by 3%, thanks in large part to abundant and relatively low-cost supplies. China alone accounted for almost 30% of global growth. In the past decade, half of global gas demand growth came from the power sector; last year, however, over 80% of the rise came from industry and buildings.
Natural gas demand grew by 3% in 2017 thanks to abundant and relatively low-cost supplies, as well as fuel switching in key economies, significantly above the average growth of 1.5% of the last five years. China alone accounted for nearly 30% of global growth – with more than 30 bcm out of a total of nearly 120 bcm. This signals a structural shift in the Chinese economy away from energy-intensive industrial sectors as well as a move towards cleaner energy sources, with both trends benefiting natural gas.
As part of the official policy drive to “make China’s skies blue again,” there has been a strong push to phase out the practice of burning coal in industrial boilers (especially those in and around major cities) as well as reduce coal use for residential heating. China’s surging gas demand means that it absorbed much of the slack in LNG markets, pushing up international spot prices for gas in the latter part of the year.
The European Union also saw strong growth in gas demand (continuing the trend from 2016), with consumption up around 16 bcm in 2017. Some of this increase was weather-related, for instance due to a poor year for hydropower. Demand from industry also reportedly picked up on the back of stronger economic activity. Gas consumption in the European Union is still more than 10% below the peak seen in 2010. Gas imports were near historical highs as domestic production tapered off, notably in The Netherlands
In the United States, gas-fired generation in 2017 fell by 8%, or 110 TWh, offsetting half of the increase in gas demand for electricity generation elsewhere. The case of the United States last year highlights the importance of relative prices in determining emissions intensity trends in the power sector: a slight rise in the natural gas price in 2017 saw gas-fired generation squeezed by both renewables and coal.
The composition of gas demand growth is changing. In the past decade, half of global gas demand growth came from the power sector. In 2017, over 80% of the growth came instead from industry and buildings. The power sector remains the largest single component of global demand, but this share is likely to decline gradually.
Source : IEA
Read more: http://www.iea.org/geco/