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 the French Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER), France's total renewable energy capacity (wind, solar, hydropower, and bioenergy) has reached 55.3 GW in September 2020, with solar PV surpassing the 10 GW milestone. This means that solar PV capacity is halfway from reaching the Pluriannual Energy Programming's (PPE) target for 2023 of 20,100 MW. Wind capacity reached 17.2 GW, i.e. 71.5% of the 24,100 MW target foreseen for 2023 under the PPE. Furthermore, the hydropower capacity reached 25.7 GW (+170 MW over the same period of 2019), over 99% of the PPE's target, while bioenergy capacity reached 2.15 GW.
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).