State of play: New IEA statistics publications highlight latest global and OECD trends across major energy sources

25 July 2012

Copyright: GraphicObsession

In 2011, global coal production grew 6.6% in 2011, the 12th straight year of gains, while global natural gas production increased by more than 2%, and oil grew by 1%, but nuclear electricity production dropped by more than 4% due to a 9.2% decrease in OECD countries, according to the latest official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

While coal production only increased by 0.8% in OECD member countries, non-OECD production climbed by 9% with China taking over from Japan as the world’s largest importer, and Indonesia becoming the world’s largest exporter, surpassing Australia.

These statistics are drawn from Coal Information 2012, one of a series of annual IEA statistical publications on major energy sources. These annual IEA statistics books, which also include Oil Information 2012, Natural Gas Information 2012, Electricity Information 2012 and Renewables Information 2012, are being released throughout the summer.

Global oil demand rose by around 1% in 2011.  However demand from OECD countries was down by 0.8% in 2011, as a result of low economic growth. Motor gasoline consumption – accounting for about one third of oil demand in the OECD – dropped by more than 2%, continuing a downward trend which began back in 2006.

Global natural gas consumption increased by 2.1% in 2011, a much smaller increase than the sizeable 7.2% leap seen in 2010. With consumption in OECD countries remaining flat, the growth came from non-OECD countries, which account for slightly more than half of gas consumption in the world.

Electricity production in OECD countries dipped by 0.9% in 2011; due in large part to the consequences of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. In Japan, nuclear electricity production decreased by 65%, while in Germany production dropped by 23%.

Looking at renewable sources, their share in the total primary energy supply increased to 8.2% in OECD countries in 2011, compared to 7.8% in 2010. Wind power was not only the leading non-hydro renewable energy source for electricity, but it also had the largest increase out of all renewable sources in the OECD, growing by 65 TWh.

In addition to these publications on major sources of energy, the IEA has also released two publications which focus on statistics and balances in OECD countries:

  • Energy Statistics of OECD Countries 2012 contains data on energy supply and consumption in original units for coal, oil, natural gas, electricity, heat, renewables and waste; and
  • Energy Balances of OECD Countries 2012 contains data on the supply and consumption of coal, oil, natural gas, electricity, heat, renewables and waste presented as comprehensive energy balances expressed in million tonnes of oil equivalent.

These books highlight a 9.2% decrease in nuclear energy supply in OECD countries, which led to a 1.9% decrease in total primary energy supply in 2011. 

Two publications on energy statistics and energy balances for non-OECD countries will also be released this summer. Data within these books will show that the economic recovery in 2010 led to a sharp 4.9% rebound of global energy demand, after demand had declined by 0.8% between 2008 and 2009, due in large part to the global financial crisis.

Data in these forthcoming books will also highlight that global energy demand continued to increase in 2011, but at a lower pace of around 3%. The overall growth came from non-OECD countries, which counter-balanced the 1.9% decrease in OECD demand.

2011: The year in numbers

-          Global coal production increased by 6.6%

-          Global oil demand increased by around 1%

-          Natural gas consumption worldwide increased by 2.1%

-          Global energy demand increased by over 3%

-          OECD energy demand decreased by 1.9%

-          OECD electricity production dropped by 0.9%

-          There was a 9.2% decrease in nuclear energy supply from OECD countries

-          The share of renewable sources in the total primary energy supply increased to 8.2% in OECD countries.