Dynamic demand in the USA and the EU.
Global gas consumption continued to rise in 2019 (+2.6%), though at a slower rate than in 2018 (record year with +5.1%).
In the USA, the largest gas consumer, it grew by 3.1% in 2019, thanks to lower prices and new gas-fired capacity in the power sector. The growth was uneven, with 7% in the power sector but a rather flat consumption in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
In China, the economic slowdown and the relaxation of policy on coal-to-gas switching contributed to halve the growth in gas consumption (+8.6%).
Consumption grew in the EU (+3.1%), as demand recovered in Spain, Germany and Italy, and in producing countries such as Russia, Australia, Iran, Algeria and Egypt.
In Asia, it continued to decline in Japan and in South Korea, due to a lower demand from the power sector (lower electricity consumption and increased competition from nuclear reactors and renewables).
Gas consumption remained stable in Latin America with slight declines in Brazil and Argentina and a 4.4% growth in Mexico.
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.
According to preliminary figures from Citepa, France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 0.9% in 2019, from 445 MtCO2eq in 2018 to 441 MtCO2eq in 2019. This is due to a decline in GHG emissions from the residential and tertiary sector (-2.7%, i.e. -2.2 MtCO2eq, with a 2.3% drop for households and a 3.2% decline for services), in the energy sector (-0.7%, including -1.5% for power generation), and in waste processing (-2.2%). In 2019, CO2 emissions dipped by 1%, from 331.5 Mt to 328.2 Mt (-3.3 Mt), while methane emissions contracted by 0.7% (-0.4 MtCO2eq).