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Revealed: Renewables growth did not dent fossil fuel dominance in 2022 according to report

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Global energy demand rose 1% last year and record renewables growth did nothing to shift the dominance of fossil fuels, which still accounted for 82% of supply, the industry’s Statistical Review of World Energy report said on Monday.

Last year was marked by turmoil in the energy markets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which helped to boost gas and coal prices to record levels in Europe and Asia.
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The stubborn lead of oil, gas and coal products in covering most energy demand cemented itself in 2022 despite the largest ever increase in renewables capacity at a combined 266 gigawatts, with solar leading wind power growth, the report said.

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“Despite further strong growth in wind and solar in the power sector, overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again,” said the president of the UK-based global industry body Energy Institute, Juliet Davenport.

“We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”

The annual report, a benchmark for the industry, was published for the first time by the Energy Institute together with consultancies KPMG and Kearny after they took it over from BP (BP.L), which had authored the report since the 1950s.
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Scientists say the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels to have any hope of meeting the international Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

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Here are some highlights from the report on 2022:

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CONSUMPTION

  • Global primary energy demand grew around 1%, slowing from the previous year’s 5.5%, but demand was still around 3% above pre-coronavirus levels in 2019.
  • Energy consumption grew everywhere apart from Europe, including Eastern Europe.
  • Renewables, excluding hydropower, accounted for 7.5% of global energy consumption, around 1% higher than the previous year.
  • The share of fossil fuels in global energy consumption remained at 82%.
  • Electricity generation was up 2.3%, slowing down from the previous year. Wind and solar power grew to a record share of 12% of power generation, again surpassing nuclear, which fell 4.4%, and meeting 84% of net electricity demand growth.
  • Coal’s share in power generation remained dominant at around 35.4%.

OIL

  • Oil consumption increased by 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to 97.3 million bpd, with growth slowing compared with the previous year.
  • Compared with pre-Covid levels in 2019, oil consumption was 0.7% lower.
    Most oil demand growth came from revived appetite for jet fuel and diesel-related products.
  • Oil production grew by 3.8 million bpd, with the lion’s share coming from OPEC members and the United States. Nigeria saw the largest decline.
  • Oil refining capacity grew by 534,000 bpd, mainly in non-OECD countries.

NATURAL GAS

  • Amid record prices in Europe and Asia, global gas demand fell 3% but still made up 24% of primary energy consumption, slightly below the previous year.
  • Gas production was stable year-on-year.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) production was up 5% at 542 billion cubic metres (bcm), a similar pace to the previous year, with most growth coming from North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Europe accounted for much of LNG demand growth, increasing its imports by 57%, while countries in the Asia-Pacific region and South and Central America reduced purchases.
  • Japan replaced China as the world’s largest LNG importer.
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COAL

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  • Coal prices hit record levels, rising 145% in Europe and 45% in Japan.
  • Coal consumption rose 0.6%, its highest level since 2014, driven mainly by Chinese and
  • Indian demand, while consumption in North America and Europe declined.
  • Coal output was 7% higher than the previous year, with China, India and Indonesia accounting for most of the growth.

RENEWABLES

  • Growth in renewable power, excluding hydro-power, slowed down slightly to 14% but solar and wind capacity still showed a record increase of 266 gigawatts, with solar taking the lion’s share.
  • China added the most solar and wind power.

EMISSIONS

  • Global energy-related emissions, including industrial processes and flaring, were up 0.8% reaching a new high of 39.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

MINERALS
Lithium carbonate prices jumped 335%. Cobalt prices were up 24%.
Lithium and cobalt production rose 21%.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Philippa Fletcher for Reuters

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