India's fossil fuel consumption up 8% in 2023: Report

According to an Energy Institute (EI) report, fossil fuel consumption in India rose 8 percent in 2023, accounting for almost all demand growth, while its share of overall consumption stood at 89 percent
India fossil fuel consumption up 8% in 2023: Report
India fossil fuel consumption up 8% in 2023: Report

New Delhi: Fossil fuel consumption in India rose 8 percent in 2023, accounting for almost all demand growth, while its share of overall consumption stood at 89 percent, according to a report.

According to an Energy Institute (EI) report, for the first time, more coal was used in India than Europe and North America combined.

EI and co-authors KPMG and Kearney on Thursday released the 73rd annual edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy, presenting for the first time full global energy data for 2023.

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The report suggests that five key stories emerge from the 2023 data, starting with record global energy consumption, with coal and oil pushing fossil fuels and their emissions to record levels.

"Global primary energy consumption overall was at a record absolute high, up 2 percent on the previous year to 620 Exajoules (EJ). Global fossil fuel consumption reached a record high, up 1.5 percent to 505 EJ (driven by coal up 1.6 percent, oil up 2 percent to above 100 million barrels for first time, while gas was flat)," said the report.

As a share of the overall mix they were at 81.5 percent, marginally down from 82 percent last year. Emissions from energy increased 2 percent, exceeding 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time.

Solar and wind push global renewable electricity generation to another record level. Renewable generation, excluding hydro, was up 13 percent to a record global high of 4,748 TWh, it said.

This growth was driven almost entirely by wind and solar and accounted for 74 percent of all net additional electricity generated.

As a share of primary energy use, renewables (excluding hydro) were at 8 percent, or 15 percent, including hydro. Meanwhile, the ongoing Ukraine conflict has cemented gas rebalancing in Europe.

European gas demand fell 7 percent, following a fall of 13 percent the previous year. Russia's share of EU gas imports fell to 15 percent, down from 45 percent in 2021, with LNG imports outflanking piped gas to Europe for a second year in a row. Dependence on fossil fuels in major advanced economies is likely to have peaked.

In Europe, fossil fuels fell to below 70 percent of primary energy for the first time since the industrial revolution, driven by demand reduction and renewable energy growth. US consumption of fossil fuels fell to 80 percent of total primary energy consumed.

Growth economies struggle to curb fossil fuel growth, but renewables accelerate in China. In Africa, primary energy consumption fell in 2023 by 0.5 percent. Fossil fuels accounted for 90 percent of overall energy consumption, with renewables (excluding hydro) at only 6 percent of electricity.

China's full return post-Covid saw fossil fuel use increase to a new high, up 6 percent, but as a share of primary energy it has been in decline since 2011, down to 81.6 percent in 2023, the report said.

China added 55 percent of all renewable generation additions in 2023 -- more than the rest of the world combined. It also overtook Europe on an energy per capita basis for the first time.

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EI President Juliet Davenport OBE HonFEI said, "With global temperature increases averaging close to 1.5°C, 2023 was the warmest year since records began, and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change were felt across all continents."

"In this Year's Statistical Review, we report on another year of highs in our energy hungry world. 2023 saw record consumption of fossil fuels and record emissions from energy, but also record generation of renewables, driven by increasingly competitive wind and solar energy," he said.

EI Chief Executive Nick Wayth CEng FEI said the progress of the transition is slow, but the big picture masks diverse energy stories playing out across different geographies.

"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," he said.

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