‘Tumultuous’ year: Emissions and demand climb as energy world rocked by Russian invasion of Ukraine, Energy Institute says

Global energy demand grew by 1.1% last year, a marked slowdown from 2021’s 5.5% increase but enough to bring overall demand to around 3% above 2019 pre-Covid levels, according to a report out this week.

Greenhouse gas emissions also grew last year, up 0.8% despite a rapid scale-up of renewable energy deployment, the UK-based Energy Institute (EI) said.

In its Statistical Review of World Energy — an annual survey that until this year was produced by UK supermajor BP — EI put numbers behind a “tumultuous” 2022 that was rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent 38% drop in Russian pipeline gas exports.

The share of renewable energy, excluding hydroelectric power, in primary energy consumption reached 7.5%, an increase of nearly 1% over 2021, EI said, although the dominance of fossil fuels, including coal, was almost unchanged at 82%.

EI chalked part of the emissions backslide on the Ukraine war, which created the necessity for longer natural gas supply routes.

Energy consumption increased in all regions of the world apart from Europe where it declined by 3.8% and former Soviet Union area where it declined by 5.8%.

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Global oil consumption rose by 2.9 million barrels per day to 97.3 million bpd, about 0.7% below the 2019 level.

Oil production increased by 3.8 million bpd in 2022, with Opec+ group accounting for more than 60% of the rise. Among all countries, Saudi Arabia and the US saw the largest output increases.

Nigeria and Libya reported the largest declines in oil production last year, EI said.

Global natural gas demand declined by 3% in 2022, dropping just below the 4 trillion cubic metres mark achieved for the first time in 2021.

Natural gas share

The share of gas in primary energy in 2022 decreased slightly to 24% last year, from 25% in 2021.

As Russian pipeline gas supplies fell, liquefied natural gas supplies grew 5%, or around 26 billion cubic metres, to 542 Bcm.

LNG supply increases came mostly from North America, with 10 Bcm in growth, and the Asia-Pacific region with 8 Bcm.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, industrial processes, flaring and methane leaks rose to a new high in 2022, to 39.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, with emissions from energy use rising 0.9% to 34.4 GtCO2e.

In contrast, carbon dioxide emissions from flaring decreased by 3.8% and emissions from methane and industrial processes decreased by 0.2%.

“2022 saw some of the worst ever impacts of climate change — the devastating floods affecting millions in Pakistan, the record heat events across Europe and North America — yet we have to look hard for positive news on the energy transition in this new data”, EI president Juliet Davenport said.

“Despite further strong growth in wind and solar in the power sector, overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again. We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement”, Davenport added.

LNG demand

The increase in global LNG demand was triggered by Europe that imported 62 Bcm in 2022. Countries in the Asia Pacific region reduced their LNG imports by 24 Bcm and those in South and Central America by 11 Bcm.

Japan replaced China as the world’s largest LNG importer and accounted for close to 60% of global LNG demand growth in 2022, the report said.

The institute said it is scheduled to broadcast the discussion of the report’s finding at its YouTube channel at 2pm London time.