• Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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Renewables account for 20% of global energy despite climate fears

Nigeria docile as Saudi Arabia’s plans to save $200bn from shifts to renewables

The planet may be warming but the appetite for oil is not waning anytime soon, as fossil fuels accounted for the largest share of global oil consumption last year, according to a new report released Monday.

A war between Russia and Ukraine roiled oil markets last year, raising concerns about energy security that saw many countries ramping up output.

The switch to renewables was predicted to be profound as prices of solar and wind installations fell but the annual Statistical Review of World Energy showed that renewables merely accounted for 18 percent of global share of energy consumption.

In addition, despite record growth in global solar and wind capacity additions last year, emissions rose to a new record high, according to the report, published by the Energy Institute (EI) and partners KPMG and Kearney.

This development has put the world further off track to meeting the Paris Agreement targets.

The latest report showed that primary energy demand growth slowed in 2022, increasing by 1.1 percent, compared to 5.5 percent growth in 2021, and taking it to around 3 percent above the 2019 pre-COVID level.

“Despite record growth in renewables, the share of world energy still coming from fossil fuels remains stubbornly stuck at 82 percent, which should act as a clarion call for governments to inject more urgency into the energy transition,” said Simon Virley, vice chair and head of energy and natural resources of KPMG in the UK.

Read also: Fuel subsidy removal driving Nigerians towards renewable energy – Zhang

Solar and wind capacity continued to surge, with a record increase of 266 gigawatts (GW) last year. Solar accounted for 72 percent, or 192 GW, of those capacity additions.

Last year, as energy demand grew by 1.1 percent, global energy-related emissions continued to grow, and rose by 0.8 percent year-on-year, despite strong growth in renewables.

Juliet Davenport, president of EI, 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.”

Oil production, analysis shows, is on the rise. The volume of crude oil sitting in stationary tankers jumped to the highest in more than two and a half years on June 23.

Crude oil on stationary tankers has reached around 129 million barrels as of the end of last week, the highest floating crude volumes since October 2020, according to data seen by Bloomberg.

Richard Forrest, global sustainability lead partner and chair of Energy Transition Institute, Kearney, said: “2022 was a turbulent year for the energy industry, with the Ukraine conflict and the tail end of the pandemic driving energy cost and security concerns to the top of the priority list in many regions.

“The global energy consumption increased 1.1 percent over the year, with a 0.8 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions reinforcing the need for urgent action to get the world on track to meet the Paris targets. The need to drive the energy transition at pace to deliver clean, affordable and secure energy has never been greater.”