Steady growth in CO2 emissions in China in 2019.
In 2019, CO2 emissions from fuel combustion slightly decreased (-0.2%) following two years of growth, thanks to a significant improvement in energy intensity (-2.1% in 2019) and to a strong decline of the CO2 emissions per kWh produced (-3.2%, or 443 gCO2/kWh) mainly due to fuel switching from coal to gas and the rising share of renewables in the global power mix.
Most of the reduction in emissions occurred in the USA (-2.4%) and Europe (-3.9%, with significant cuts in Germany, Poland, the UK, Spain and Turkey), resulting from a lower energy demand (in particular in the power sector) due to a slower economic growth, mild temperatures, and fuel substitutions in the power sector (coal-to-gas switching and renewable growth).
In Asia, CO2 emissions grew again, though at a slower pace than in recent years. Emissions rose for the third year in a row in China (+2.8%), where the coal-to-gas conversion policy was relaxed and continue their steady growth in Indonesia. On the contrary, emissions declined in India (higher hydropower generation reducing coal consumption), South Korea (temporary shutdowns of coal-fired power plants and shift from coal to LNG) and Japan (lower electricity consumption and improved nuclear availability cutting thermal power generation).
CO2 emissions also continued to increase in coal and hydrocarbon producing countries, such as Russia, Australia, Iran, South Africa or Algeria.
According to the European Union (EU) Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), the amount of cross-border capacity available for trade among Member States remains insufficient to meet the minimum EU target of 70% by 2020. Cross-zonal capacity increased by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018 due to border-specific improvements (Poland-Czech Republic/Germany/Slovakia, Austrian borders, Greece-Italy, Bulgaria-Romania and Germany-Denmark). Moderate decreases, compared to 2018, were observed at the Swiss and Norwegian borders (-6%) and at a smaller scale in Italy North and Nordic regions (-2%). In addition, several Member States continue to use national capacity mechanisms, even if they do not always face an adequacy problem.
According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, global CO2 emissions from energy combustion increased by 0.9% to 38 GtCO2 in 2019, driven by China (+3.4%, accounting for 30% of global emissions) and India (+1.6%, 7% of global emissions). Meanwhile, Japan (3% of global emissions) reduced its energy-related CO2 emissions by 2.1%, the United States (13% of total emissions) by 2.6% and Russia (5% of total emissions) by 0.8%.
According to the European Commission, primary energy consumption declined by 0.7% in 2018 (-0.1% only for final energy consumption), which is insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. The highest annual reductions in primary energy consumption were posted in Belgium, Austria and Greece, whereas the largest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Between 2005 and 2018, primary energy consumption decreased in all Member States except Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia and Poland. Primary energy intensity fell in all Member States between 2005 and 2018; however, it grew in Denmark, Estonia and Luxemburg in recent years (between 2015 and 2018).
According to the Swiss government, final energy consumption in Switzerland slightly increased in 2019 (+0.3%) due to cooler temperatures, economic growth (+0.9%), demographic growth (+0.7%) and increasing fleet of motor vehicles (+0.8%). This rising trend was offset by continued energy efficiency and substitution effects.