World Final Energy

Updated November 2022.

Final energy accounts for the consumption of fuels by an economy in their final forms. Importantly, this includes fuels consumed for purposes other than electricity generation. See Energy Accounting for further information.

IEA data is used to display final energy, the most recent year of which is 20201. BP data2 is unsuitable for final energy accounting, but is used to display electricity generation, the most recent year of which is 2021.

Shares of world final energy in 2020 were approximately:

  • 20% electricity (of which 61% was fossil fuelled, or 75% was not hydro, solar or wind);
  • 65% 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 domestic cooking and heating4); and
  • 3% heat from other sources.

Exact values are shown below –

Chart 1. World final energy by annual share of fuel for the most recent year of respective dataset. Data: IEA(2022)1. Electricity generation data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 20222 5 6.
The teal dashed segment in the uppermost pie charts represents the equivalent share of electricity that a study has anticipated would be produced within a 100% wind/water/solar (WWS) energy system, demonstrating the smaller remaining change needed for full electrification7.
Hydrogen (H₂) consumption is not shown although perhaps it’s tallied in the “Heat” segment of the top-most pie charts. This isn’t explained in the IEA’s definitions 8, nor do their definitions reference hydrogen.
H₂ “demand” in 2020 was 89Mt 9. At the rated energy content of 120 MJ/kg 10, this was equivalent to 2.7% of world total final energy in 2020.
Low-emission hydrogen was less than 1% of global hydrogen production in 2021 9, equivalent to 0.027% of world final energy in 2020 (roughly one fortieth of one percent).

Decarbonisation requires a much greater share of electricity. Over 30 years and 26 UN climate conferences, that share grew from only 13.4% to 20.5%.

Note that while shares of low carbon electricity generation increased from 30.5% in 2010 to 35% in 2021, the share in 1990 was 34.8%. This is explained by chart 4 in World Electricity Generation.

Footnotes
  1. https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-product/world-energy-balances-highlights()()
  2. https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html()()
  3. 9.7%+38.7%+ 16.5% = 64.9%()
  4. https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/()
  5. BP does not fully account for biofuels, and these may not be carbon-neutral, as explained at https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/()
  6. 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’.()
  7. The 20.5% share of electricity in 2020 equates to 47.7% 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.()
  8. https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/25266100-859c-4b9c-bd46-cc4069bd4412/WORLDBAL_Documentation.pdf()
  9. https://www.iea.org/reports/hydrogen()()
  10. https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-storage()