1. Home
  2. Energy economics
  3. Statistical Review of World Energy
  4. Country and regional insights
  5. Global insights

Global insights

World primary energy consumption and global carbon emissions from ‎energy use both witnessed annual decreases in 2020, their largest since ‎WWII

Fast facts

   Primary energy consumption fell by 4.5% in 2020 with oil demand accounting for ‎‎72% of the decrease


2    Renewables power grew by a record 358 TWh and increased its share of total ‎generation to 12%


3    Carbon emissions fell by 6.2% and the carbon intensity of the energy mix (the ‎average carbon emitted per unit of energy used) declined by 1.8%


Growth in primary energy ‎consumption in 2020‎


Growth in CO2 emissions in 2020


Growth in renewables ‎consumption in 2020


Growth in oil consumption ‎in 2020

At a glance

  • Energy consumption decreased by ‎‎4.5% in 2020, falling across all ‎regions.
  • ‎CO2 emissions from energy use ‎decreased by 6.2% to their lowest ‎level since 2011. 
  • Both energy consumption and carbon ‎emissions declined for the first time ‎since 2009 and saw their largest ‎decrease since World War II.
  • ‎The fall in oil demand accounted for ‎‎63% of the decrease in carbon ‎emissions. 
  • Oil demand declined by 9.5% ‎(-18 EJ), making up 72% of the ‎decrease in total primary energy ‎consumption in 2020. While its ‎share decreased to 31%, oil ‎continues to make up the largest ‎share of the energy mix. 
  • Gas consumption declined by ‎‎2.3% (-81 bcm). Against global ‎decline in gas demand, China’s ‎gas consumption increased in ‎‎2020, growing by 6.9% (22 bcm). 
  • Coal consumption declined by 4.2%, ‎but its share of energy consumption ‎was stable vs 2019 levels at 27%. 
  • Renewables consumption ‎increased 9.7%, raising the share ‎of renewables in the energy mix to ‎‎5.7%, from 5.0% in 2019. 
  • Electricity generation declined by ‎‎0.9% in 2020 (-178 TWh). The ‎largest generation decrease came ‎from coal, which fell by 4.4% ‎(-405 TWh). 
  • Renewables power grew by a ‎record 358 TWh and increased its ‎share of total generation to 12%, ‎from 10% in 2019 – the largest ‎ever expansion in its share of ‎power generation.
  • ‎Wind and solar generation capacity ‎increased by a record 238 GW in ‎‎2020, 52% more than the previous ‎record increment in 2019. 
  • Global oil production declined 6.6 ‎Mb/d, driven by both OPEC (-4.3 ‎Mb/d) and non-OPEC (-2.3 Mb/d). 
  • Gas production decreased by ‎123 bcm (-3.3%), with the largest ‎drops seen in Russia (-41 bcm) ‎and the US (-15 bcm).‎