Report finds coal dominated world energy markets in 2013

June 19, 2014

In its annual review of world energy markets, BP Plc. found that coal dominated the world energy markets in 2013 by supplying the largest share of share demand since 1970.

The use of coal in 2013 made it the fastest growing fuel source in the world according to the report, “BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014.” 

Consumption grew 3 percent last year, driven by coal use in developing nations, Use of renewables such as solar and wind also reached a record, accounting for 2.7 percent of all energy demand.

The findings are another indication that consumers are prioritizing cheap fuels over efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

“Europe is increasing its carbon emissions because it’s using too much coal because it’s cheap,” Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said in an interview on Bloomberg Television June 3.

Coal’s share of global energy use reached 30.1 percent, just below the 32.9 percent share for crude oil, which lost market share for a 14th consecutive year. China was the world’s biggest coal consumer, followed by the U.S. and India.

In China, coal accounted for 67.5 percent of the total energy demand, the lowest on record because of new measures to combat pollution. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels use grew by 4.2 percent, or 358 million metric tons, the slowest in five years, the report showed.

Natural gas consumption rose 1.4 percent, below the historical average of 2.6 percent, to account for 23.7 percent of world primary energy use.

Gas demand growth was below average everywhere but North America, where hydraulic fracturing technology opened new supplies.

That so-called fracking technique also helped boost oil supply in the U.S., which had record output, a trend that will continue this year, Ruehl said.



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