Primary energy consumption rose by 1.3% last year, below its 10-year average rate of 1.6% per year, and much weaker than the 2.8% growth seen in 2018. By region, consumption fell in North America, Europe and CIS and was below average in South & Central America. Demand growth in Africa, Middle East and Asia was roughly in line with historical averages.
China was by far the biggest individual driver of primary energy growth, accounting for more than three quarters of net global growth. India and Indonesia were the next largest contributors, while the US and Germany posted the largest declines in energy terms.
Looking at energy by fuel, 2019 growth was driven by renewables, followed by natural gas, which together contributed over three quarters of the net increase. The share of both renewables and natural gas in primary energy increased to record highs. Meanwhile, coal consumption declined, with its share in the energy mix falling to its lowest level since 2003.
The combination of slower growth in energy demand and a shift in the fuel mix away from coal and toward natural gas and renewables led to a significant slowdown in the growth of carbon emissions. Emissions rose by 0.5%, although slower than their 10-year average, it only partially unwound the unusually strong growth of 2.1% seen in 2018.