Energy supermajor released the 71st annual edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the most comprehensive collection and analysis of global energy data. 

Key findings from the 2022 edition include: 

In 2021, energy consumption increased by almost 6%, more than reversing the sharp fall in 2020 as much of the world locked down.

Renewable energy, led by wind and solar power, continued to grow strongly in 2021 and now accounts for 13% of total power generation. 

Overall global emissions rose 5.7% in 2021, registering close to 2019 levels.

Renewable generation (excluding hydro) increased by almost 17% in 2021 and accounted for over half of the increase in global power generation over the past two years. 

Global gas demand grew 5.3%, increasing above pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Oil consumption increased by 5.3 million barrels per day.

Bloomberg Green highlighted four trends of BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2022.

Renewables are now 13% of global power generation.

In 1985, coal-fired power was 38% of global electricity generation. Hydro was 20%, nuclear, 15%; natural gas, 14%; and oil, a bit over 11%. Three and a half decades later, coal is still king at 36%, and gas has increased to almost 23%. But every other major generation source of the mid-1980s has lost relative share — and more than gas alone can account for.

That is because renewable power (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydropower) has grown from 0.8% of the world’s electricity mix to 13%. Renewables passed the 10% mark in 2019 and have added 0.8% of market share — the same amount that they accounted for globally in 1985! — on average annually since 2010. 

Wind and solar now generate more than nuclear power.

Last year I noted that although renewable power generation does not exactly compete with nuclear, renewable were winning. In 2020, all renewable power generation surpassed all nuclear generation. In 2021, wind and solar surpassed 10% of global generation on their own, and overtook nuclear in annual generation.

2021 was actually a significant year for nuclear power. Nuclear generation increased more than 4%, the biggest increase since 2004, thanks to Chinese fleet additions. 

China is now the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas.

BP has tracked trade in liquefied natural gas since the year 2000. At the start of the century, Japan was far and away the world’s biggest LNG importer, taking in about 75 billion cubic meters a year. Europe as a whole was the next biggest importer, followed by South Korea. China did not even begin importing LNG until 2006. 

Over the next 20 years, Japan’s LNG imports peaked, driven by the closure of many of the country’s nuclear plants following the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. Europe’s import volume looked poised to match Japan’s a decade ago, before falling back and then rising again to exceed Japan’s in 2019. Korea’s imports more than doubled, despite the occasional year of modest decline. 

And then there is China. China imported 109.5 billion cubic meters of LNG last year, 1.3 billion more than Europe. Asia has accounted for 70% of global LNG trade for the past decade, during which time China’s shares of both global LNG trade and of Asia LNG trade have more than tripled.

China generates more renewable electricity than Europe.

In 1965, the United States generated 13 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity and Europe generated 3 terawatt-hours. Data on China’s renewable generation does not appear until 1990, at which point its 0.1 terawatt-hour was less than 1/600th of what the US was generating. 

Fast forward to 2016 and China has surpassed the US and reached close to 60% of Europe’s total renewable generation. Then, in 2021, China rockets past Europe, adding almost 290 terawatt-hours of total renewable electricity generation in one year. Last year, Japan and India generated a combined 302 terawatt-hours. 

/BP, Bloomberg Green/