Written by Phil Allan
BP has launched the 65th edition of its Statistical Review of World Energy, launched today, and claims the world is shifting to lower carbon fuels.
The Review sets out energy data for 2015, revealing a year in which significant long-term trends in both the global demand and supply of energy came to the fore with global energy consumption slowing further and the mix of energy sources shifting towards lower-carbon fuels.
The Review shows that in 2015 global demand for primary energy grew by only 1%, significantly slower than the 10-year average. This reflected continued weakness in the global economy and lower growth in Chinese energy consumption as the country shifts from an industrial to a service-driven economy.
Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for 32.9% of global energy consumption, and gaining market share for the first time since 1999. It was followed by coal (29.2), which was the only fuel that lost global market share in 2015.
Speaking at today’s launch, BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said: “As this edition of the Stats Review clearly demonstrates, the world of energy is again going through a period of profound change. But this is nothing new for our industry; over the past 65 years the Review has revealed continual change in the global energy landscape. Our task as an industry is to take the steps necessary to ensure our resilience in the near term, while continuing to invest to meet the energy needs of the future.”
Since its first edition in 1952, the BP Statistical Review has provided timely and objective data to help inform discussion, debate and decision-making in matters regarding energy. Its annual data helps the industry to better interpret market swings and fluctuations, and the historical data provides important context for gauging where energy markets may be heading next.
Prices for all fossil fuel energy fell last year, prompting adjustments in the energy markets; boosting demand in some markets – most notably oil which gained market share for the first time since 1999 – and curtailing supply and shifting the fuel mix in others.
On the supply side, technological advances have increased the range and availability of different fuels. The US shale revolution has unlocked huge swathes of oil and gas resources, and rapid technology gains have supported strong growth in renewable energy. Natural gas and oil also recorded solid growth in 2015, while global demand for coal saw its largest fall on record.
Although emerging economies continued to dominate the growth in global energy consumption, growth in these countries in 2015 (at 1.6%) was again well below its 10-year average rate. Emerging economies now account for 58.1% of global energy consumption.
Energy consumption in China grew 1.5% in 2015, the slowest rate in almost 20 years. Despite this, China remained the world’s largest growth market for energy for a fifteenth consecutive year.
Sluggish demand growth together with the shift in the energy mix away from coal meant that the growth in carbon emissions from energy consumption stalled in 2015, representing the slowest growth in emissions in nearly a quarter of a century (aside from immediately following the financial crisis).