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IEA: global energy demand rose by 2.3% in 2018, fastest pace in the last decade; CO2 emissions up 1.7%

Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3% last year, its fastest pace this decade, an exceptional performance driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions, according to the IEA. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for 45% of the rise in energy consumption. Gas demand growth was especially strong in the United States and China.

Demand for all fuels increased, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70% of the growth for the second year running. Solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31%. Still, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use.

As a result, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% to 33 Gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for a third of the total increase. Most of that came from a young fleet of coal power plants in developing Asia.

The majority of coal-fired generation capacity today is found in Asia, with 12-year-old plants on average, decades short of average lifetimes of around 50 years.

These findings are part of the International Energy Agency’s latest assessment of global energy consumption and energy-related CO2 emissions for 2018. The Global Energy & CO2 Status Report provides a high-level and up-to-date view of energy markets, including latest available data for oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear power, electricity, and energy efficiency.

Electricity continues to position itself as the “fuel” of the future, with global electricity demand growing by 4% in 2018 to more than 23,000 TWh. This rapid growth is pushing electricity towards a 20% share in total final consumption of energy. Increasing power generation was responsible for half of the growth in primary energy demand.

Renewables were a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth. China remains the leader in renewables, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and the United States.

Energy intensity improved by 1.3% last year, just half the rate of the period between 2014-2016. This third consecutive year of slowdown was the result of weaker energy efficiency policy implementation and strong demand growth in more energy-intensive economies.

We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade. Last year can also be considered another golden year for gas, which accounted for almost half the growth in global energy demand. But despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts—developing all clean energy solutions, curbing emissions, improving efficiency, and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilization and storage.

—Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director

Almost a fifth of the increase in global energy demand came from higher demand for heating and cooling as average winter and summer temperatures in some regions approached or exceeded historical records. Cold snaps drove demand for heating and, more significantly, hotter summer temperatures pushed up demand for cooling.

Together, China, the United States, and India accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand around the world. The United States saw the largest increase in oil and gas demand worldwide. Its gas consumption jumped 10% from the previous year, the fastest increase since the beginning of IEA records in 1971. The annual increase in US demand last year was equivalent to the United Kingdom’s current gas consumption.

Global gas demand expanded at its fastest rate since 2010, with year-on-year growth of 4.6%, the second consecutive year of strong growth, driven by higher demand and substitution from coal. Demand growth was led by the United States. Gas demand in China increased by almost 18%.

Oil demand grew 1.3% worldwide, with the United States again leading the global increase for the first time in 20 years thanks to a strong expansion in petrochemicals, rising industrial production and trucking services.

Global coal consumption rose 0.7%, with increases seen only in Asia, particularly in China, India and a few countries in South and Southeast Asia.

Nuclear also grew by 3.3% in 2018, with global generation reaching pre-Fukushima levels, mainly as a result of new additions in China and the restart of four reactors in Japan. Worldwide, nuclear plants met 9% of the increase in electricity demand.

Comments

Engineer-Poet
Renewables were a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth.

If "renewables" cannot expand considerably FASTER than electricity demand growth, as well as substituting for non-electric energy consumption, they cannot achieve decarbonization and are worthless.

HarveyD

As usual, USA is the main culprit, with major increases in overall energy consumption, mainly from polluting oil, coal and gas and relatively less (instead of more) from clean REs.

Europe and Japan are better examples with major reduction in polluting energy and increase in clean energy from REs. China (the world factory) needs more energy every year.

REs and 24/7 REs can and will expand much faster in the next 10 years and will contribute more to overall reduction of harmful emissions. More should be done.

It will be difficult to convince USA (and most of Canada) to consume less energy, specially the polluting types, from Coal, Gas and Oil. Our addiction to oversize vehicles and oversize badly built houses is not easy to reverse.

Engineer-Poet

AlzHarvey ignores the examples of almost completely decarbonized electric grids:

France
Sweden
Ontario

NONE of them did it by replacing fossil with "renewables".  They ALL use nuclear power.  Yet for some reason he pushes things that haven't worked.

If he was a paid shill for the fossil industry, would he do anything different?

Paroway

The nuclear plants were already producing when the coal plants were closed down in Ontario, so nuclear did not take over that production. Mostly it was gas, hydro and renewables which grew from <1% to now over 9% of the total.. Best not to become a shill for the nuclear industry.

Arnold

I agree a shrill is a shrill is a shrill. A troll is a troll and a nong - well.
So why bother replying to f.w's?
For a start it is sometimes necessary to call the lie and the moronic statement .
E.P. obviously enjoys his trolling and wasting our time.
To say that renewables is worthless is absolutely up to (his her their?) form.
Pathetic.

SJC

Some people like to bully to act like a big fish in a small pond,
that is deficient character.

SJC

Some people like to bully to act like a big fish in a small pond,
that is deficient character.

Engineer-Poet

(goddamn Windows shut down without permission or even notice and destroyed several days of work on replies, so these rewrites are going to reflect some very serious and justified pissed-offedness.)

Arnold, who I thought was respectable, wrote:

A troll is a troll and a nong - well.

"nong" is an unfamiliar term, but Urban Dictionary return "From the Chinese word nongmin 农民, meaning "farmer". Uneducated Chinese person, Chinese peasants, Chinese white trash."

Arnold appears to be a Chinese state-agent troll.  Who knew?

So why bother replying to f.w's?

Who knows what a "f.w." is?  I won't ask.  Why bother replying to anyone who uses terms which come completely out of the blue with no relation to the topics of the blog?  Bye, Arnold.

For a start it is sometimes necessary to call the lie and the moronic statement .

I do call out the lies and moronic statements.  That's practically all I'm doing here.

E.P. obviously enjoys his trolling and wasting our time.

Enjoy?  This is drudgery.  I hope I can persuade Milliken to ban the lot of you, because ANY response to you beyond the first calling out for BS is a waste of time.

To say that renewables is worthless is absolutely up to (his her their?) form.

Okay, Arnold, if they're so great show me ONE fossil-based grid which has gone to 90% decarbonization using "renewables" the way France did with nuclear.  JUST ONE.

You can't show me one, and the gas industry is depending on "renewables" to guarantee their markets as long as they have something to drill for.  Don't be a sucker for their propaganda.

Engineer-Poet
The nuclear plants were already producing when the coal plants were closed down in Ontario

The nuclear plants HAD to be producing before the coal capacity could be shut down.  Why is this so hard for you to understand?
As I write this, slightly less than half of all electric generation in Ontario was nuclear.  Just over 2% was from wind and none was solar.  If the dispatchable nuclear was not there, it would have been mostly replaced by other dispatchable sources:  gas or coal.

Best not to become a shill for the nuclear industry.

Why not?  Nuclear has zero atmospheric emissions and requires NO fossil backup.  "Renewables" DO require such backups.  This is why natural gas interests love "renewables".  Why are you so OBTUSE that you cannot grasp this despite many repetitions?

HarveyD

SAEP's manners have not improved much but his love of very costly NPPs is still there. ?

He may never admit that the use of REs and 24/7 REs is growing at 40% to 60+% yearly rate in many places while nuclear energy production growth has stalled or gone down in many countries.

Future much smaller NPPs may be easier and faster to build but the total energy cost per kWh will still be higher than from Hydro, Solar and Wind. However, a proper mix of all four (4) energy sources may be a good way to reduce associated pollution and GHGs.

Engineer-Poet
his love of very costly NPPs is still there. ?

Of course, instead of responding where I addressed that very point just yesterday you come over into this other thread and claim your honor has been wounded.

If you were a brighter troll you would just have remained silent.

SAEP's manners have not improved much

When you stop the evasions, dishonesty and outright lies and apologize for the YEARS you've been dragging this forum down with Green propaganda, you'll possibly merit something other than mockery, rancor and derision.  I expect that'll coincide with hell freezing over.

He may never admit that the use of REs and 24/7 REs

Direct question you've evaded multiple times including in that other thread:  state specifically which REs are 24/7 and the capacity we can get from them.  You always refuse to answer.  That's because of the obvious:  besides hydro the only other is geothermal, which has a total feasible capacity of a few GW in the entire continent of North America.  Neither one can be expanded to any great degree.

In place of "24/7 REs" you should write "unicorns".  They are about as real.

growing at 40% to 60+% yearly rate in many places

Small absolute expansions are large in relative terms when starting from small figures.  But I'm sure you know this, and know that you're lying with statistics (again).  It is one more example of your evil, contemptible behavior that should have had you banned years ago.

nuclear energy production growth has stalled or gone down in many countries.

And GHG reductions have stalled or reversed in those same countries.

Michael Schellenberger notes that the "Green" organizations are always financed by fossil fuel interests.  Stalling and reversing nuclear energy growth is literally in NO ONE ELSE'S INTEREST BUT THEIRS.  So why do you advocate for fossil fuels, AlzHarvey?  Are you paid to do it, or are you just a tool?

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