The growth of renewables, falling CO2 emissions in Europe, the emergence of local carbon markets, and national commitments to combat global warming… all are highlighted in the 2015 edition of A World of Energy. Created by the ENGIE Strategy Department, this publication brings together the key global energy indicators for the year.
Despite accelerating world growth, demand for energy rose only slightly in 2014. This fact is explained partly by stagnation in energy demand from China, largely as a result of structural changes in its national economy, and partly by falling energy consumption in OECD countries.
Although 2/3 of the world's electricity is still generated using fossil fuels, this contribution has fallen consistently for the last 3 years. As a result, the energy industry is experiencing trends that confirm the ongoing existence of an energy transition.
Renewable power generation now contributes around one-third of the world's power generating resources. 2014 will prove to have been a pivotal year of change, because despite the marked reduction in fossil fuel prices, the proportion of additional net capacity worldwide accounted for by renewables reached its highest level yet at 45%.
Driven primarily by wind and solar power, 80% of this growth is concentrated in China, the European Union, the USA and Japan. It is linked to the falling cost of generating power using photovoltaic and onshore wind technology. It also signals a response to the imperatives of energy security and sustainable development. The challenge going forward will be the global deployment of renewables, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than half of the population still has no access to electricity.