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Primary energy consumption decreased by 4.5% last year, the first decline in energy consumption ‎since 2009. Consumption for all fuels decreased, apart from ‎renewables and hydro
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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.‎

Primary energy – world consumption (EJ)
Primary energy – world consumption (EJ)
Primary energy – shares of global primary energy (%)
Primary energy – shares of global primary energy (%)

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.‎

Regional consumption pattern 2020 (%)
Regional consumption pattern 2020 (%)
Oil remains the dominant fuel in Africa, Europe and the Americas, while natural gas dominates in CIS ‎and the Middle East, accounting for more than half of the energy mix in both regions. Coal is the ‎dominant fuel in the Asia Pacific region. In 2020 coal’s share of primary energy fell to its lowest level ‎in our data series in North America and Europe to 12% and 9%, respectively.‎
Energy per capita by region (GJ per head)
Energy per capita by region (GJ per head)
Average global energy consumption per capita decreased by 5.5% in 2020 to 71.4 GJ/head, driven by ‎declines in North America (-8.6%) and Europe (-8%). Energy demand per head fell in all other regions. ‎North America is the region with the highest consumption per capita (217 GJ/head), followed by CIS ‎‎(150 GJ/head) and the Middle East (140 GJ/head). Africa remains the region with the lowest average ‎consumption (14 GJ/head).‎
Energy per capita – distribution across countries (cumulative share of world population, %)
Energy per capita – distribution across countries (cumulative share of world population, %)
In 2020 63.7% of the global population lived in countries where average energy demand per capita ‎was less than 100 GJ/head, a significant decrease from 81% in 2019, as energy demand per capita in ‎China increased to 101 GJ/head from 99 GJ/head in 2019. The share of the global population ‎consuming less than 75 GJ/head increased from 57% in 2019 to 60.6% last year.‎