Introducing the 2018 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: “2017 was a year where structural forces in the energy market continued to push forward the transition to a lower carbon economy, but where cyclical factors have reversed or slowed some of the gains from prior years. These factors, combined with rising demand for energy, has resulted in a material increase in carbon emissions following three years of little or no growth.”
Data published in the Review – the 67th annual edition – show that:
In 2017 global energy demand grew by 2.2%, above its 10-year average of 1.7%. This above-trend growth was driven by stronger economic growth in the developed world and a slight slowing in the pace of improvement in energy intensity.
Demand for oil grew by 1.8% while growth in production was below average for the second consecutive year. Production from OPEC and the 10 other countries that agreed cuts decreased, while producing countries outside of that group, particularly the US driven by tight oil, saw increases. Consumption exceeded production for much of 2017 and as a result OECD inventories fell back to more normal levels.
2017 was a strong year for natural gas with consumption up 3% and production up 4% – the fastest growth rates since immediately following the global financial crisis. The single biggest factor fueling global gas consumption was the surge in Chinese gas demand, where consumption increased by over 15%, driven by government environmental policies encouraging coal-to-gas switching.
Renewables grew strongly in 2017, with wind and solar leading the way. Coal consumption was also up, growing for the first time since 2013.
Bob Dudley commented: “This year’s Review looks at the energy mix within the power sector, for the first time, which astonishingly shows that the share of coal in the sector is unchanged from 20 years ago.
“As we have said in our Energy Outlook, our Technology Outlook and now our Statistical Review, the power system must decarbonize. We continue to believe that gains in the power sector are the most efficient way to drive down carbon emissions in coming decades.”
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