Global primary energy consumption increased by just 1.0% in 2015, similar to the below-average growth recorded in 2014 (+1.1%) and well below its 10-year average of 1.9%. Other than the recession of 2009, this represented the lowest global growth since 1998. Consumption growth was below the 10-year average for all regions except Europe & Eurasia; emerging economies accounted for 97% of the increase in global consumption. OECD consumption experienced a small increase, with growth in Europe offsetting declines in the US and Japan. Chinese consumption slowed further, but still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the fifteenth consecutive year. Russia recorded the largest volumetric decline in primary energy consumption. By fuel, only oil and nuclear power grew at above-average rates, with oil gaining global market share for the first time since 1999. Renewables in power generation continued to grow robustly, to nearly 3% of global primary energy consumption, while coal consumption recorded the largest percentage decline on record. Global CO₂ emissions from energy are estimated to have been essentially flat.
Prices for all fossil fuels fell in 2015 for all regions. Crude oil prices recorded the largest decline on record in dollar terms, and the largest percentage decline since 1986. The annual average price for Brent, the international crude oil benchmark, declined by 47%, reflecting a growing imbalance between global production and consumption. The differential between Brent and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) narrowed to its smallest level since 2010. Natural gas prices fell in all regions, with the largest percentage declines in North America; the US benchmark Henry Hub fell to its lowest level since 1999. Coal prices around the world fell for the fourth consecutive year.