Respected as the single most comprehensive report of energy consumption around the globe available, the Annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy was released in June, as usual. What isn’t so normal about the report is that it suggests energy consumers around the globe are responding to slow growth in the worldwide economy and calls for reducing energy consumption by lowering their production and overall consumption of many key energy sources.
Primary energy consumption experienced a growth of 1.8 percent during the year 2012, which is considerably lower than the average growth over the past ten years of 2.6 percent. In OECD countries (developed nations), primary energy consumption fell 1.2 percent. The United States saw the most significant decline of these countries with a 2.8 percent reduction in consumption.
For the fourth year out of the last five years, consumption in all 34 OECD countries fell. The only increase during that time happened in 2010 after the serious economic woes of 2009. Non-OECD countries (developing nations) saw a growth in overall energy consumption of 4.2 percent. However, this is lower than the ten-year average growth in these nations, which is 5.3 percent. Ninety percent of the energy consumption growth in developing nations was attributed to China and India.
Worldwide, oil remains the most consumed source of energy at a growth of 33.1 percent. However, its growth has flattened over the past 13 years. The year 2012 saw the lowest growth of oil consumption since 1965. Coal is growing in consumption at the rate of 30 percent, which is slightly up from the 29.6 percent growth during 2011. Most of this consumption occurred in China and Europe. China’s coal consumption is attributed to their economic growth and development, while Europe’s increase can be attributed to the sharp rise in natural gas prices across the continent.