Daily Management Review

Study Shows Emissions And The Consumption Of Fossil Fuels Reached Historic Highs In 2023


Study Shows Emissions And The Consumption Of Fossil Fuels Reached Historic Highs In 2023
According to the oil and gas industry's Statistical Review of World Energy report, released on Thursday, worldwide fossil fuel consumption and energy emissions reached all-time highs in 2023, despite a minor decline in fossil fuels' proportion of the world's energy mix.
As global temperature rises to 1.5C (2.7F), scientists predict that impacts like temperature rise, drought, and flooding will become more severe. However, growing demand for fossil fuels despite the expansion of renewable energy sources may prove to be a roadblock in the transition to lower carbon energy.
"We hope that this report will help governments, world leaders and analysts move forward, clear-eyed about the challenge that lies ahead," Romain Debarre of consultancy Kearney said.
Following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, last year was the first complete year when Russian energy flows had been redirected away from the West. It was also the first full year without significant travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to the research, worldwide primary energy consumption reached a record high of 620 Exajoules (EJ) as CO2 emissions surpassed 40 gigatonnes for the first time.
"In a year where we have seen the contribution of renewables reaching a new record high, ever increasing global energy demand means the share coming from fossil fuels has remained virtually unchanged," KPMG consultant Simon Virley stated.
120 million metric tonnes of methane were released into the atmosphere by the oil and gas industry's emissions last year, a report published by IEA noted.
The study noted changing patterns in the utilisation of fossil fuels in various geographical areas. For instance, in Europe, the percentage of energy derived from fossil fuels dropped below 70% for the first time since the industrial revolution.
"In advanced economies, we observe signs of demand for fossil fuels peaking, contrasting with economies in the Global South for whom economic development and improvements in quality of life continue to drive fossil growth," Nick Wayth, chief executive of the Energy Institute, said.
Since 2023, the annual report has been issued by the Energy Institute, an industry association, in collaboration with KPMG and Kearney, two consulting firms. They succeeded BP, which had been the report's author since the 1950s and set the standard for energy experts.
According to the research, China's usage of fossil fuels increased by 6% to a record high in 2023, while practically all of India's demand rise in same year came from fossil fuels.
However, China also contributed more than half of the additional renewable energy generated globally in the previous year.
KPMG's Virley told reporters, "China adding more renewables than the rest of the world put together is remarkable."
Highlights from the 2023 study are as follows:
  • The demand for primary energy worldwide increased by 2% to 620 EJ in 2023 from 2022.
  • Utilisation of fossil fuels increased 1.5% to 505 EJ, making up 81.5% of the total energy mix, a decrease of 0.5% from 2022.
  • In 2023, hardly a single European nation saw a growth in the usage of fossil fuels.
  • In 2023, the growth in electricity generation was 2.5%, a little increase over the 2.3% growth in the year before.
  • With hydro excluded, the production of renewable fuels increased by 13% to reach a new peak of 4,748 terawatt-hours (TWh).
  • The percentage of renewables in the whole energy mix, excluding hydro, increased from 7.5% in the 2022 report to 8%.
  • Hydro renewables made up 15% of the total worldwide mix.
  • After increasing by 2% year, oil consumption surpassed 100 million bpd for the first time ever in 2023.
  • Non-OPEC+ producers kept up the expansion in the oil supply, with U.S. output rising 9% annually.
  • With 18.5 million bpd last year, China surpassed the United States as the nation with the greatest refining capacity in the world; nevertheless, refining volumes still remained lower, with 82% utilisation compared to 87% in the United States.
  • Just over 25 million barrels of petrol were used globally last year, exceeding the pre-pandemic figure from 2019.
  • 2023 saw an 8% growth in biofuel output, with advances mostly coming from the United States and Brazil.
  • In the world, the United States, Brazil, and Europe used 80% of the biofuels produced.
Natural Gas
  • In 2023, both the production and consumption of petrol worldwide stayed largely unchanged.
  • Over 2% more LNG was available, totaling 549 billion cubic metres (bcm).
  • The United States surpassed Qatar to become the world's top supplier of LNG following a 10% increase in output.
  • In 2023, the total petrol demand in Europe decreased by 7% year over year.
  • In 2023, Russia's proportion of the gas supply to Europe decreased from 45% in 2021 to merely 15%.
  • Driven by China and India, coal consumption reached a record high of 164 EJ in 2023, up 1.6% year over year.
  • India used more coal than all of North America and Europe put together.
  • US coal usage has decreased by half during the past ten years, with a 17% decline in 2023.
Renewable Energy
  • Higher wind and solar capacity, with 67% greater additions in those two categories in 2023 than in 2022, was the primary driver of the record high in renewable power.
  • Renewable energy sources accounted for up to 74% of the net gain in total power generation.
  • In 2023, China was the source of 55% of all new renewable power additions and 63% of new wind and solar capacity installed worldwide.
  • Over the year, emissions increased by 2% to surpass 40 gigatonnes.
  • Although the proportion of fossil fuels in the energy mix decreased somewhat, emissions increased because the usage of coal and oil increased while gas remained constant.
  • According to the research, there has been a 50% rise in energy-related emissions since 2000.