Primary energy consumption decreased by 4.5% last year, the first decline in energy consumption since 2009. The decline was driven largely by oil (-9.7%), which accounted for almost three quarters of the decrease.
Natural gas and coal also saw significant declines. Consumption for all fuels decreased, apart from renewables (+9.7%) and hydro (+1.0%).
Consumption fell across all the regions, with the largest declines in North America (-8.0%) and Europe (-7.8%). The lowest decrease was in Asia-Pacific (-1.6%) due to the growth in China (+2.1%), the only major country where energy consumption increased in 2020. In the other regions, the decline in consumption ranged between -7.8% in South and Central America to -3.1% in the Middle East.
Oil continues to hold the largest share of the energy mix (31.2%). Coal is the second largest fuel in 2020, accounting for 27.2% of total primary energy consumption, a slight increase from 27.1% in the previous year. The share of both natural gas and renewables rose to record highs of 24.7% and 5.7% respectively.
Renewables have now overtaken nuclear which makes up only 4.3% of the energy mix. Hydro’s share of energy increased by 0.4 percentage points last year to 6.9%, the first increase since 2014.