IEA (2020), World Energy Balances: Overview, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-balances-overview
In this report
World energy production was 14 421 Mtoe in 2018 – a 3.2% increase compared to 2017. It was mostly driven by fossil fuels: natural gas, coal and oil, increasing together by more than 370 Mtoe in 2018. All renewables and nuclear also increased, by 60 Mtoe and 19 Mtoe respectively. Fossil fuels ultimately accounted for more than 81% of production in 2018, as was the case in 2017.
In the OECD as a whole production reached 4 379 Mtoe in 2018, an increase of 200 Mtoe over 2017. With 4 089 Mtoe in 2018, non-OECD Asia increased its production of energy by 4.0%. Notwithstanding its slower growth (+1.3%), the Middle East remained the third biggest producing region, still ahead of non-OECD Europe and Eurasia which is catching up (2 040 Mtoe and 1 987 Mtoe in 2018 respectively).
Between 1971 and 2018, world total energy supply (TES) increased 2.6 times (from 5 519 Mtoe to 14 282Mtoe) and its structure changed. Oil fell from 44% to 32% of TES between 1971 and 2010; it is stable since then, and still the dominant fuel in 2018. Natural gas consolidated its third rank, growing from 16% in 1971 to 23% in 2018.
The OECD’s share of global TES fell from 61% in 1971 to 38% in 2018. With 5 369 Mtoe, it is now almost on par with non-OECD Asia, where energy demand grew more than seven-fold, reaching 5 136 Mtoe in 2018, and whose share of TES almost tripled over the period, from 13% in 1971 to 36% in 2018.
Power generation from coal was still dominant by far in 2018, reaching 38% of the electricity produced globally. Its share resumed decreasing in 2018 after having slightly re-increased in 2017, interrupting four years of consecutive decrease. Renewables come second in the electricity mix, as has been the case since 2013, and reached almost 26% of the mix in 2018.
After the increases registered in 2017 and 2018, the OECD region showed a decrease in total energy supply (TES) in 2019. The 1% decrease, almost 50 Mtoe, was equivalent to the amount of energy used in a country like Sweden, and almost entirely offset the 2018 increase.
The OECD TES in 2019 was equal to 5.32 billion tons of oil equivalent (toe), representing almost two fifths of global energy supply.
The top energy-consuming countries showed different patterns in 2019. The United States alone reduced its TES by 27 Mtoe: the result of opposing trends for coal, - 43 Mtoe, and natural gas, + 20 Mtoe, mostly driven by continued substitution in power generation; similarly, Japan (-2%) and most European countries (France -2%, UK -2%, Italy -2%, Germany -0.5%) declined in energy consumption. Conversely, one third of the OECD members registered an increase (Canada +1%, Mexico +2%, Turkey +2%, Australia +3%).
Due to the combined fall in coal and increase in gas and renewable energy in total energy supply for 2019, the carbon intensity of the energy mix continued to decrease, resulting in an almost 3% drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Over two thirds of OECD countries decreased emissions, several of them by 3% or more: United States 3%, Germany 5%, Korea 3%, UK and Italy 4%, France 3%, Poland 4% and Spain 8%.
Electricity generation, responsible for one third of total OECD emissions, fell by almost 200 TWh in 2019, the biggest drop of the current decade. Similarly to gas in 2018, renewables overtook coal in 2019 for the first time ever, generating almost 3 000 TWh.
As a result of the continued penetration of gas and renewable sources, the carbon intensity of electricity generation for the OECD decreased by 7% between 2018 and 2019: this, together with the drop in generation, contributed to reduce total emissions from electricity by more than 300 MtCO2.
The OECD total final consumption (TFC) in 2018 reached 3 784 Mtoe as result of a 67 Mtoe (+1.8%) increase - the largest growth since the post-recession rebound of 2010. However, this increase was driven exclusively by the Americas (+4%) with the other regions – Europe (-0.5%) and Asia-Oceania (-1.6%) – experiencing mild decreases. All fuels’ consumption increased with the exception of coal; most notably natural gas alone accounted for 60% of the total growth.
At a sectoral level, none of the final consumption sectors decreased in 2018 except the non-energy use of fuels. Energy use in buildings (residential and services) contributed mostly to the overall TFC change (+67 Mtoe), with transport and industry following.
The transport sector consumption reached a new record high (1 251 Mtoe), increasing for a fourth consecutive year, confirming the longer-term trends and consolidating its position as the largest consuming sector. The buildings sector saw an increase (+2%) after four years of relatively stable levels. Despite its increase, industry did not exceed the energy consumption levels achieved in 2008 before the Great Recession.
In transport, the largest consuming sector with over a third of the overall TFC, the consumption of oil remained dominant (92%), despite the rapid growth of biofuels after 2000. In the industry, residential and services sectors, natural gas’s share increased modestly (0.6-1.7%) at the expense of oil. Electricity’s shares remained fairly stable on a year-on-year basis.
The production and consumption of biofuels (mainly fuelwood) was higher across Africa - 45% of total energy supply (TES) in 2018 - than the world average (9% of TES). This is due to the presence of large forests, a high rural population, and a low GDP per capita. However, the share of biofuels and waste in TES has decreased significantly between 1971 and 2018. This is partly explained by the recent development of power generation from natural gas. Natural gas share in TES increased steeply from 1% in 1971 to 16% in 2018. Over the period, oil demand increased because of the increase of transport consumption and it is now the second fuel consumed in Africa.
Non-OECD Americas produced 757 Mtoe of energy in 2018, 33 Mtoe less than in 2017, and the lowest level since 2009. In Venezuela, crude oil production declined for the fifth year in a row. Oil provided the biggest share of TES in the region (39%), followed by natural gas (22%) and biofuels and waste (22%). In 2018, transport slightly surpassed industry as the biggest energy-consuming sector.
Non-OECD Asia’s total energy supply (TES) kept growing strongly: + 4.1% in 2018, so that the region accounted for 36% of global TES. Non-OECD Asia’s main energy-consuming sector was industry, which represents 51% of the region’s total final consumption.
In 2018, the total energy supply (TES) in non-OECD Europe and Eurasia increased by 4.5%, consolidating the upward trend which started in 2016. Substantial differences emerged between the highest growth countries of Central Asia (+9.6%), Russia (4.2%) and Eastern Europe (3.4%) on the one hand, and the Mediterranean (+1%), Balkans (+0.3%) and Caucasus (-0.5%) on the other hand.
With energy production around 2.7 times as large as its demand, and reaching 2 040 Mtoe in 2018, the Middle East had the highest energy self-sufficiency ratio in the world. The region produced 14% of global energy in 2018, and more specifically 33% of global oil and 16% of the world’s gas. The Middle East’s global share of natural gas production had more than tripled since 1993.
Saudi Arabia was still by far the largest oil producer in the region in 2018 with 39%, followed by Iraq and Iran, with 15.5% and 14% respectively.