BP has released the 2022 version of its annual Statistical Review of World Energy, introducing it by stating that the “challenges and uncertainties facing the global energy system are at their greatest for almost 50 years”. The broad trends paint an interesting if an already somewhat familiar picture:
- The share of fossil fuels in the world energy mix is slowly declining (at 82% in 2021, down from 83% in 2019 and 85% in 2017), but the absolute amount of fossil fuels used remains around the same, giving credence to the idea that energy sources are added to existing sources in the energy mix, rather than replacing them.
- Oil production rose by 1.4 million barrels per day in 2021 as compared to 2020, with OPEC+ members producing more than three-quarters of it, with Libya, Iran and Canada increasing production the most. Decreases in production occurred in Nigeria, the UK, and Angola, while global refinery capacity decreased in 2021 (by 500,000 barrels per day), the first decrease in more than 30 years, mostly driven by OECD countries.
- China became the world’s largest LNG importer, supplanting Japan, while worldwide production of LNG grew 5.6%, driven by the USA, though the rate of growth was slower than in recent years (except 2020).
- Coal consumption increased in the USA and Europe for the first time in a decade in 2021, and produced 36% of the world’s electricity, up from 35.1% in 2020.
- Wind and solar together produced 10.2% of power generation worldwide in 2021, the first time the sources reached double digits combined, and the two outstripped nuclear power. Renewable primary energy (including biofuels but excluding hydropower) increased by 15% in 2021, with China adding around 36% of new solar and 40% of new wind power generation capacity.
As always, the full report makes for information-packed reading.