Renewables Contributed Largest Increase in Energy Terms on Record in 2019: BP

BP plc has issued its Statistical Review of World Energy, revealing that renewables contributed their largest increase in energy terms on record during 2019

Renewables Largest Increase

BP plc, a multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, has issued its 69th annual edition of the bp Statistical Review of World Energy (bp Stats Review). The report found that renewables contributed their largest increase in energy terms on record (3.2 exajoules) during 2019, while also being the biggest contributor to global growth in primary energy during the year.

This year’s edition – which collects and analyses energy data for 2019 – highlights the global energy trends emerging prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The report stated that while some aspects – such as the continuing strong growth in renewables – offer encouragement that the world is moving onto a more sustainable path, others – including continuing persistent growth in carbon emissions – underline the scale of the challenge for the world to reach net zero. 

Bernard Looney, bp chief executive officer, says: “As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like we are at a pivotal moment. Net-zero can be achieved by 2050. The zero-carbon energies and technologies exist today – the challenge is to use them at pace and scale, and I remain optimistic that we can make this happen.

“For bp, the pandemic has only reinforced our commitment to our ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero, by highlighting both the fragility of our planet and the opportunities it provides to truly build back better.”

Key findings from the Stats Review include: 

Growth in primary energy consumption slowed to 1.3 percent in 2019, less than half the rate of growth the previous year (2.8 percent).

Carbon emissions from energy use grew by 0.5 percent in 2019, only partially unwinding the unusually strong growth of 2.1 percent seen in 2018. The average annual growth in carbon emissions over 2018 and 2019 was greater than its 10-year average.

Renewables contributed their largest increase in energy terms on record (3.2 exajoules). They accounted for over 40 percent of the global growth in primary energy last year, more than any other fuel. Their share in power generation (10.4 percent) also surpassed nuclear for the first time.

Coal’s share of primary energy fell to its lowest level in 16 years (27 percent), after consumption fell by 0.6 percent, led by a sharp drop in OECD demand. However, coal remained the single largest source of energy for power generation, accounting for over 36 percent of global power.

China accounted for more than three-quarters of net global energy growth, while the US and Germany posted the largest declines.  

Spencer Dale, bp chief economist, adds “Global energy markets have been severely disrupted by the pandemic. bp’s Statistical Review highlights the key energy trends emerging before COVID-19 and I hope it will be a valuable source of information as the world emerges from the pandemic and transitions towards net zero.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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