Updated November 2021
Final energy accounts for the consumption of each fuel in its final form. Therefore fuel quantities used to generate electricity are accounted for separately from those used to generate heat (e.g coal combusted to generate electricity is accounted for separately from that combusted for purposes such as steel manufacture).
Only data from the IEA is used here to present final energy, which they label Total Final Consumption (TFC)1 (BP data2 is unsuitable for final energy accounting, but is used here to display electricity generation). As of November 2021, the most recent year of data for final energy is 2019, and 2020 for electricity generation.
In 2019, world energy was mainly consumed as:
63% heat from combustion of fossil fuels3 (e.g. combustion of oil products in engines, or coking coal to manufacture steel),
11% heat from combustion of biofuels and waste (this includes dung and wood, used by about 2.5 billion people for residential cooking and heating4), and
3% heat from other sources.
Very little has changed since 1995, the year of the first UN climate change Conference of Parties (COP1)10.
An important change required for decarbonisation of the world energy system is greater electrification; i.e. an increased share of electricity in final energy. Sadly though, over 25 years and 25 UN climate conferences, that share only grew from 15.6% to 21.7%.
The share of low carbon electricity in 2020 had almost returned to its value in 1995, after having significantly declined. This is explored further in World Electricity Generation.
- 37.0% + 15.9% + 9.9% = 62.8%
- BP does not fully account for biofuels, and these may not be carbon-neutral, as explained at https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/
- Biofuels on this website are the summation of solid and liquid biofuels, and therefore Geothermal, Biofuels and Other equals the summation of bp’s data for ‘Geo, Biomass and Other’ and ‘Biofuels’.
- The 21.7% share of electricity in 2019 equates to 50.6% under WWS, as shown by the black dashed segment. The share of electricity becomes greater because total energy consumption of a 100% WWS system reduces to 42.9% of business-as-usual, https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/TimelineDetailed.pdf, https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/WorldGridIntegration.pdf, 8.7/20.3 = 42.9%. This is due to: (a) using heat pumps for building heat; (b) using electricity for industrial heat; (c) using battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; (d) eliminating mining, transportation and processing of fuels, and (e) efficiency improvements.
- Also note: (i) Non-energy use of energy sources excluded (e.g. oil used for lubrication); (ii) Electricity losses include gas distribution, electricity transmission, and coal transport, and (iii) Examples of Electricity Industry Own-Use include energy consumed in coal mines, own consumption in power plants and energy used for oil and gas extraction, https://www.iea.org/statistics/resources/balancedefinitions/