Sharp rise in crude oil production in the USA.
In December 2018, the OPEC and Russia agreed to jointly reduce crude oil production to put a downward pressure on oil prices and limit the global glut. Under this OPEC+ agreement (as of January 2019, extended and strengthened in 2020), crude oil production declined by 4.9% in Saudi Arabia and stabilised in Russia (+0.8%), whereas Nigeria kept on raising its production (+4.8%).
International prices steadied but remained below their 2018 levels (-10% for the Brent, at US$64/bbl), as crude oil production in the USA set a new record (+11%) thanks to a boom in non-conventional output (mainly in the Permian region) and new projects coming online. This surge in US oil production widened the gap with Saudi Arabia, with the US producing 37% more oil than Saudi Arabia in 2019.
The Middle East experienced an overall decline (-6.1%), due to rising regional tensions, culminating in a drone attack in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iran, where oil production fell by 34%. Similarly, oil production in Latin America dipped (-5.2%), due to political issues including the US sanctions in Venezuela (-32%) and the continuous decline in Mexico’s output (-7%), and despite a 7% growth in oil production in Brazil (surging pre-salt production).
According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, the share of renewables in France’s final energy consumption reached 19.1% in 2020, including 24.8% for electricity, 23.3% for heating and 9.2% for transports. The growth of renewable energies in France has been important since 2005, especially with the development of biofuels, solid biomass, heat pumps, wind and solar power. The country, which aimed to achieve a target of a 23% share of renewables in final consumption by 2020, including 27% for electricity, 33% for heating and cooling and 10% for transports, has missed its targets.
Switzerland’s electricity consumption declined by 2.6% in 2020 to 55.7 TWh, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. This decline was due to the COVID-19 related lockdowns (-4.3% in electricity consumption in the first quarter and -7.8% in the second quarter of 2020), and to economic trends (2.9% drop in the GDP), weather conditions (the number of heating degree days fell by 4.4% compared to 2019) and energy efficiency improvements to a lesser extent.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell by 13.3% in 2020, due to an 11.2% decrease in emissions from stationary installations (power plants and manufacturing plants) to 1.331 MtCO2eq and a 64.1% decrease in emissions from aviation, a sector which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to 24.5 MtCO2eq.
The power sector posted a 14.9% decrease, as a result of reduced electricity consumption due to the pandemic and continued decarbonisation trends, including both the switch from coal to gas-fired power generation, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewables. In addition, emissions from industry decreased by an average of 7%, with reductions observed in most sectors, including iron and steel (-11.7%), cement (-5.1%), chemicals (-4%) and refineries (-8.1%).
According to preliminary data from the Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France’s primary energy consumption decreased by 9.9% in 2020 to 2,571 TWh. Final energy consumption declined by 7.9% to 1,637 TWh in 2020, including 147 TWh for non-energy uses (final consumption for energy use at constant climate declined by 5.6% in 2020). The lockdown measures and travel restrictions had a significant impact on energy consumption in the transport and industrial sectors: energy consumption fell by nearly 16% in transport and by 6.5% in industry. The energy consumption of residential and tertiary building adjusted for climate variations increased slightly (+1.5% with climate corrections).