New surge in US gas production, accounting for nearly 60% of the global growth.
The USA, the largest gas producer, accounted for over half of the 2019 global increase, followed by Russia, Australia, China and Iran. US domestic gas production rose by more than 10%, triggered by new developments in shale formations in Texas and in Pennsylvania. In addition, new gas and LNG export capacities and a strong demand from the power sector contributed to raise US gas production.
Gas production also continued to rise steadily in Russia (+3.4%) and in Australia (+18%), pushed by the development of LNG projects (full operation for projects completed in 2018 or commissioned in 2019) and by domestic demand.
Gas production continues decreasing in Europe (-5.7%), as maintenance and outages reduced output in Norway (-5.7%) and as the Netherlands kept on cutting the Groningen gas production (-13%). Gas production also remained quite stable in Latin America, despite a 5% increase in Argentina.
South Korea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 7.3% in 2020 to 649 MtCO2eq (i.e. -10.9% compared with the 2018 peak of 729 MtCO2eq). GHG emissions have been driven down by South Korea's energy and industrial sectors (-7.8% and -7.1%, respectively). In the power sector, total emissions decreased by 12.4% due to temporary shutdowns of coal-fired power plants resulting in lower coal-fired power generation and due to an increased renewable power generation. Emissions from the transport sector (included in the energy sector) contracted by 4.1%, owing to reduced travel (COVID-19-related restrictions) and the continuous deployment of low-emission vehicles. Residential emissions grew by only 0.3%, while emissions from business and public sectors fell by 9.9%. In the industrial sector (-7.1%), the reduced activity affected the energy-intensive branches such as chemicals (7.6% drop in GHG emissions), steel (-2.5%) and cement (-8.9%).
Due to the drop in emissions, the South Korean emission trading scheme (ETS) is over-supplied, and the authorities set a temporary price floor for allowances, as the price fell below the government's minimum threshold. However, the average price for allowances increased from KRW29,500/tCO2 (US$25.2/tCO2) in 2019 to KRW30,200/tCO2 (US$25.4/tCO2) in 2020.
Australia's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dipped by 5% in 2020 (-26.1 MtCO2eq) to 499 MtCO2eq, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. GHG emissions from the power sector declined by 4.9% but still accounted for a third of total GHG emissions in Australia. In addition, fugitive emissions (10% of total GHG emissions in 2020) declined by 8.8%, partly due to a lower coal production, and emissions from transport (18% of total GHG emissions in 2020) contracted by 12.1%, because of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2020, Australia's GHG emissions stood 20.1% below their 2005 level (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement). The country has committed to reduce its emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
The share of renewables in the Dutch gross final energy consumption rose from 8.8% in 2019 to 11.1% in 2020, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Most of the renewable consumption was biomass (6% of final energy consumption), followed by wind (2.5%), solar (1.5%) and others (1%).
Energy-related CO2 emissions in the European Union contracted by 10% in 2020, as a result of COVID-19 containment measures that had a significant impact on transport and industrial activities. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion decreased in all countries, with the largest contractions in Greece (-19%), Estonia, Luxembourg (-18% each), Spain (-16%) and Denmark (-15%). They fell by around 9% in Germany (25% of EU's total energy-related CO2 emissions), and by around 11% in Italy (12% of total emissions) and France (11% of total emissions). Emissions cuts were limited in Malta (-1%), Hungary (-1.7%), Ireland and Lithuania (both -2.6%).