IEA'S 2017 GLOBAL ENERGY AND CO2 STATUS REPORT - KEY FINDINGS

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7 april 2018

[4C Note: We were informed of this important IEA report by Stephan Singer, who is the Senior Advisr for Global Energy Policies at the Climate Action Network International. In an email to CAN members, Singer commented:

"The three years 2013-2016 of stagnation of energy-related CO2 emissions are over. While “Enerdata” https://www.enerdata.net/publications/executive-briefing/global-increase-co2-emissions-2017.html and others recently had assumed a growth of about 2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions for various reasons in 2017, new assessment by the IEA shows this was `only` 1.4%. But nevertheless this resembles a record-ever fossil fuel emissions of 32.5 Gt CO2 – and an addition of 460 Mt CO2 to the atmosphere in just one year – equivalent to about all fossil fuel emissions from Mexico or Brazil or those of Poland, Austria, Portugal and Sweden combined last year. Not trivial.

"Of course, this CO2 emission growth is not in line with Paris objectives for a trajectory of 1.5 C and well below 2 C. It is also not in line with a 2030 NDC implementation pathway; and most worrying this is even `violating` IEA`s own and promoted “New Policy Scenario” (NPS) that will lead to an eventual warming of about 3 C – and is a BAU light scenario. The NPS `permits` only an average annual growth rate of CO2 emissions of 0.4% between now and 2040.

"Energiewende? Global Energy Transition? Transformational changes towards solar, wind and comrades? Phase out of coal? In some areas, in some sectors and in some countries by some actors certainly – but these remain small pockets unfortunately if we look at the real trends and data.

"The reasons for the carbon pollution increase, I think, are well documented by the IEA. In short, while RES provided about one quarter of growing energy demand, mainly in electricity sector, the majority of 75% was served by fossil fuels while overall energy efficiency efforts declined significantly. Coal (yes, not shrinking as some erratically make us believe!), Oil and Gas consumption grew by 1%, 1.6% and 3% respectively in 2017. Work ahead for us all. To fight fossil fuels everywhere. Onwards!"
]

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©OECD/IEA 2018
Key findings
International Energy Agency, March 2018

• Energy: Global energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017, compared with 0.9% the previous year and 0.9% on average over the previous five years. More than 40% of the growth in 2017 was driven by China and India; 72% of the rise was met by fossil fuels, a quarter by renewables and the remainder by nuclear.

• Carbon dioxide (CO2): Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, reaching a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt), a resumption of growth after three years of global emissions remaining flat. The increase in CO2 emissions, however, was not universal. While most major economies saw a rise, some others experienced declines, including the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan. The biggest decline drop came from the United States, mainly because of higher deployment of renewables.

• Oil: World oil demand rose by 1.6% (or 1.5 million barrels a day) in 2017, a rate that was more thantwice the annual average seen over the last decade. An increasing share of sport-utility vehicles and light trucks in major economies and demand from the petrochemicals sector bolstered this growth.

• Natural gas: Global natural gas demand grew by 3%, thanks in large part to abundant and relatively low-cost supplies. China alone accounted for almost 30% of global growth. In the past decade, half of global gas demand growth came from the power sector; last year, however, over 80% of the rise came from industry and buildings.

• Coal: Global coal demand rose about 1% in 2017, reversing the declining trend seen over the last two years. This growth was mainly due to demand in Asia, almost entirely driven by an increase in coalfired electricity generation.

• Renewables: Renewables saw the highest growth rate of any energy source in 2017, meeting a quarter of global energy demand growth last year. China and the United States led this unprecedented growth, contributing around 50% of the increase in renewables-based electricity generation, followed by the European Union, India and Japan. Wind power accounted for 36% of the growth in renewables-based power output.

• Electricity: World electricity demand increased by 3.1%, significantly higher than the overall increase in energy demand. Together, China and India accounted for 70% of this growth. Output from nuclear plants rose by 26 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2017, as a Significant amount of new nuclear capacity saw its first full year of operation.

• Energy efficiency: Improvements in global energy efficiency slowed down dramatically in 2017, because of weaker improvement in efficiency policy coverage and stringency as well as lower energy prices. Global energy intensity improved by only 1.7% in 2017, compared with an average of 2.3% over the last three years.

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