I have made a few charts and make the following key observations:
- Global primary energy supply has continued to grow, mainly fossil fuels (FF), mainly coal. FF supply was up 183 million tonnes oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2013 while new renewable supply was up 42 mtoe from 2012.
- In 2003, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. In 2013, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. This is testimony to the absolute failure of energy policies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.
- In 2003, new renewables (wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels etc) accounted for 0.82% of total primary energy and by 2013 this had grown to 2.69%. In 2003, nuclear power accounted for 6.01% and this fell to 4.40% in 2013. The 1.87% growth in share of new renewables almost matches the 1.61% fall in the share of nuclear power. On the CO2 account, low emissions nuclear power has been replaced by low emissions renewable energy. The actual energy substitutions are a little more complex.
- Oil consumption has been on a gently rising plateau since 2005 (Figure 1) and oil is declining in importance in the global energy mix (Figure 2). The fall in oil’s share has been picked up by coal and the only simple way for this substitution to occur is for oil fired power generation to close. Once all oil fired generation has been closed, expect severe upwards pressure on the oil price.
Figure 1 Global energy consumption growth has continued unabated into 2013 which is a good thing for the short-term welfare of the growing population but perhaps not so good for the environment in a broad sense.
Figure 2 Same data as in Figure 1 but normalised to 100%. The long term decline of oil as a fuel is plain to see. The importance of FF (oil+gas+coal) has been constant for the last 25 years. This chart shows quite clearly how on a CO2 account, new renewables are substituting mainly for declining nuclear.
Figure 3 The share of global energy consumption in 2013. FFs dominate with nuclear and hydro making up most of the rest. In 2013 FF had 87% share the same as in 2003 (Figure 4). Oil has declined since 2003 (Figure 4) from 37 to 33%. Coal has increased from 26 to 30%. In 2003 nuclear was 6% and has declined to 4% in 2013. New renewables are in part substituting oil (biofuel) and nuclear (geothermal, wind and solar), though the real picture will be more complex.
Figure 4 The share of global energy consumption in 2003.