Coal Takes Charge

Fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix.
This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 4 - 2013


Fossil fuels (blue) account for 87% of our energy consumption, while renewable energy (red) is only around 2%, with nuclear energy making up the remainder. Their market share is 87%; fossil fuels therefore still dominate energy consumption. Renewable energy continues to gain markets, but still only accounts, however, for 2.1% of energy consumption globally. This is up from 0.7% in 2001, meaning there is still a long way to go before renewables will play an important role in the energy mix.

With respect to fossil fuels only, oil is still in the lead, although the black liquid is reducing its market share every year. Regrettably for carbon emissions, coal – accounting for an astonishing 30% of energy consumption – is the fastest growing fossil fuel, with China alone recording an increase of 9.7% last year. As a consequence, global CO2 emissions from energy use continued to rise in 2011.

World primary energy consumption grew by 2.5% in 2011. All of the net growth took place in emerging economies, with China accounting for 71% of global energy consumption growth. OECD consumption declined, falling by 0.8% in OECD countries, while non-OECD consumption grew by 5.3%.

These figures are taken from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2012, released early this summer.

Coal is the fossil fuel that increases the most in production and consumption. The incremental increase last year was larger than the total production of renewables. Source: Halfdan Carstens


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