Primary energy consumption grew 1% in 2015

Global primary energy consumption in 2015 increased by only 1%, according to new figures released in BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.

One of the world’s seven supermajor oil and gas companies, BP, has released the 65th edition its Statistical Review of World Energy, in which it sets out and analyzes energy data for 2015, confirming many assumptions regarding the long-term trends in both the global demand and supply of energy. Specifically, global energy consumption slowed further, with global primary energy consumption increasing by only 1%, after increasing by only 1.1% in 2014, well below the 10-year average of 1.9%, and representing the lowest global growth since 1998 (not including 2009’s recession year).


Additionally, the supply of energy is continuing to trend toward lower-carbon fuels, as we have known was happening for some time now, with renewables growing to now account for 3% of global energy consumption, and coal consumption dropped in the largest percentage decline on record.

“As this edition of the Stats Review clearly demonstrates, the world of energy is again going through a period of profound change,” said Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive, speaking at the launch of the report Wednesday. “But this is nothing new for our industry; over the past 65 years the Review has revealed continual change in the global energy landscape. Our task as an industry is to take the steps necessary to ensure our resilience in the near term, while continuing to invest to meet the energy needs of the future.”

In line with the general sluggishness in the world’s fossil fuel industry of late, all fossil fuel prices fell across all regions during 2015. Crude oil prices recorded the largest decline on record in dollar terms, averaging $52.39 per barrel in 2015, a decline of $46.56 per barrel from the 2014 level, and the lowest annual average since 2004. Despite a temporary increase in crude oil prices in early 2015 as global consumption rebounded and US production began to register month-on-month declines, strong growth in OPEC production caused prices to fall dramatically in the latter part of the year.

Global coal consumption fell by 1.8% in 2015, well below the 10-year average annual growth of 2.1%, and the largest percentage and volumetric decline found in BP’s data set. Global coal production also fell, by 4%, with massive declines in the US (10.4%), Indonesia (14.4%), and China (2%).

Global renewable energy power generation grew by 15.2%, or around 213 TWh, in 2015, a growth which is roughly equivalent to all of the increase in global power generation for the year, and accounted for 6.7% of global power generation — up from 2% a decade ago. China and Germany recorded the largest increases in renewables in power generation, up 20.9% and 23.5% respectively.

Wind energy remains the largest source of renewable electricity worldwide, increasing 17.4% to account for 52.2% of global renewable generation. Solar power generation grew by 32.6%, while global biofuels production increased by 0.9%, well below the 10-year average of 14.3%.

A full list of highlights from the report, access to the report, and other information, can be found here