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For 2020, country-level production data is preliminary and restricted to fossil fuels. Based on available data, the production of fossil fuels decreased strongly in 2020 relative to 2019 (-5%). All fossil fuels were affected, in particular oil (-7%) as transport demand fell during the global health crisis. Coal production decreased by 4%, according to our preliminary data, also due to the economic fallout from Covid-19, notwithstanding a strong economic rebound in China – the world’s largest coal consumer – in the second half of the year. Natural gas production was less affected, but decreased as well (–3%).

Global annual average change in fossil fuels production by fuel, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020

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World energy production amounted to 617 EJ in 2019 – a 2% increase from 2018. This increase was mostly driven by natural gas (+4%) and coal (+2%), though some renewables increased much more in relative terms (e.g. +14% for solar and +12% for wind). Hydro-electricity production stagnated at 15 EJ. While it did not increase in 2019, oil remained the most produced form of energy, at 190 EJ. Fossil fuels accounted for more than 81% of production in 2019, as in the previous years.

Global annual average change in energy production by fuel, 1971-2019

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In the OECD as a whole, production reached 195 EJ in 2019, an increase of 3.5% over 2018. Non-OECD Asia increased energy production by 4%, reaching 179 EJ in 2019. In 2019, non-OECD Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia became the third biggest energy producing region, with a growth of 2% to 85 EJ. Due to a 3% decrease, the Middle East fell to the fourth position in 2019, with 83 EJ, ahead of Africa (50 EJ, +1.4%) and non-OECD Americas (26 EJ, -2.5%).

Annual average change in energy production by region, 1971-2019

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Between 1971 and 2019 world total energy supply (TES) increased 2.6 times (from 230 EJ to 606 EJ) and its structure changed markedly. Oil fell from 44% to 31% of TES between 1971 and 2010; its share has held steady since then and it remains the most important fuel in 2019. Coal has consistently remained in second place in the global energy mix, at more than a quarter of the total, or 162 EJ in 2019. Natural gas consolidated its third rank, growing from 16% in 1971 to 23% in 2019.

Total primary energy supply by fuel, 1971 and 2019

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The OECD’s share of global TES fell from 62% in 1971 to 37% in 2019. At 225 EJ, it is now equal to that of non-OECD Asia, where energy demand grew more than seven-fold, and whose share of TES tripled over the period, from 12% in 1971 to 37% in 2019. 

Total primary energy supply by region, 1971 and 2019

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Coal remained the dominant fuel for power generation in 2019, reaching 37% of global electricity production, 10% points ahead of renewables. Coal’s share of power production had been oscillating around 40% since the mid 2000s, before starting to slide in 2015 as renewables began to grow strongly. Renewables’ share of electricity production overcame that of natural gas in 2013 and the gap has kept growing. In 2019, renewables provided almost 27% of global electricity, three points more than natural gas (24%). The share of nuclear has plateaued around 10% for eight years, while oil provided less than 3% of global electricity in 2019.

World electricity generation mix by fuel, 1971-2019

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