World total final consumption

Total final consumption, also known as final energy, accounts for the consumption of each fuel in its final form of energy. In 2018, 21% of energy was consumed as electricity and 64% directly as fossil fuels (e.g. combustion of oil). In 2019 63% of electricity was generated by fossil fuels.

All statistics shown are the most recent available as of late 2020, and the most recent year varies with dataset. The IEA’s dataset is mainly used on this page because it provides detailed energy consumption data, but lags behind BP’s by a year. BP’s dataset is used for electricity statistics.

Total final consumption, also known as final energy, accounts for the consumption of each fuel in its final form of energy (e.g. coal combusted to generate electricity is accounted for separately from that combusted by industry to generate heat). World total final consumption and electricity generation are shown in chart 1. In 2018, 21% of energy was consumed as electricity and 64% directly as fossil fuels1 (e.g. combustion of oil). In 2019 63% of electricity was generated by fossil fuels.

Chart 1. World total final consumption in 2018 showing electricity generation in 2019. Data: IEA(2020).2 Electricity generation data: BP(2020).3 4 5 (BP data which is more recent than IEA is unsuitable for displaying total final consumption).
The dashed segment in the left hand pie chart represents the equivalent share of electricity that a study has anticipated would be produced within a 100% wind/water/solar (WWS) energy system, potentially demonstrating the remaining change needed for full electrification.6 7 8 9 10 11
Chart 2. World total final consumption, 2009-2018. Data: IEA(2020).2
Upper row: Annual absolute value. Middle row: Absolute annual change in units of exajoules. Lower row: Annual year on year change shown alongside corresponding number of years to double (if positive) or halve (if negative).
Chart 3. World total final consumption by fuel type, 2009-2018. Data: IEA(2020).2
Upper row: Annual absolute value. Middle row: Absolute annual change in units of exajoules. Lower row: Annual year on year change shown alongside corresponding number of years to double (if positive) or halve (if negative).
Chart 4. World total final consumption by economic sector. Data: IEA(2020).2 Note that Transport includes rail, aviation and shipping.

The charts below highlight the sobering relative consumption of oil in the transport sector.

Chart 5. World total final consumption by form of energy in each economic sector. Agriculture, fishing and ‘other’ which have relatively small energy consumption excluded for clarity. Data: IEA(2020).2 Note that Transport includes rail, aviation and shipping.
Footnotes
  1. 37.5% + 15.7% + 10.5% = 63.7%()
  2. https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-tables?country=WORLD()()()()()
  3. https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html()
  4. BP does not fully account for biofuels, and these may not be carbon-neutral, as explained at https://www.worldenergydata.org/biofuels/()
  5. 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’.()
  6. The 21.3% share of electricity in 2018 equates to 49.6% under WWS, as shown. The share of electricity becomes greater because total energy consumption of a 100% WWS system reduces to 42.9% of business-as-usual.()
  7. 8.7/20.3 = 42.9%, https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/TimelineDetailed.pdf()
  8. https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/WorldGridIntegration.pdf()
  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.()
  10. Also note: (i) Non-energy use of energy sources excluded (e.g. oil used for lubrication); (ii) Transport & Distribution 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.()
  11. https://www.iea.org/statistics/resources/balancedefinitions/()