Energy efficiency improvement in Europe in 2018.
Global energy intensity (total energy consumption per unit of GDP) declined by 1.3% in 2018, slightly below its historical trend (-1.6%/year on average between 2000 and 2017).
Energy intensity levels and trends differ widely across world regions, reflecting differences in economic structure and energy efficiency achievements.
China’s energy intensity improved by almost 40% between 2000 and 2018, and 2.7% in the last year, driven by energy efficiency policies focused on energy-intensive industries.
Over time, China has developed and applied energy intensity reduction targets in response to significantly high energy-intense industries, bringing with it a strong demand for energy efficiency services.
Energy intensity in the United States increased in 2018 (+0.6%) compared to a decreasing trend (-1.9%/year) over the years 1990-2017.
Energy efficiency improvements continued in the European Union, the region with the lowest energy intensity in the world, with a higher rate (-3.1% in 2018) compared to the annual rate of reduction -1.8%/year measured over the 2000-2017 period. Contributing to this result, however, were the weather conditions (mild winter)
The energy intensity in the CIS region has decreased continuously since 2000 (-2.7%/year) but remains the highest in the world (75% above the worldwide average).
The high energy intensity in the CIS, the Middle East, China and other Asian developing countries is explained by the dominance of energy-intensive industries, commodity exporting-based economies and low energy prices that do not encourage energy efficiency.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) latest 3D seismic mapping, the Alaska North Slope contains 1,523 bcm (53,800 bcf) of technically recoverable natural gas hydrate (methane ice) resources stored within gas hydrate formations. The resources are located on a depth range of 200-1,200 m. Ressources are assumed to be tackled by using conventional technology. As there are no exploration fields on gas hydrate formation, its commercial viability is unknown.
According to the Australian government, Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reached 538.9 MtCO2eq (+0.6%) for the year to March 2019. The growth is largely due to a 19% increase in LNG exports and to a higher steel and aluminum production. Without the impact of LNG production on emissions (+4.7 MtCO2eq), domestic GHG emissions would have fallen, as the growth in wind and solar power generation contributed to a 2.1% drop in GHG emissions from the power sector. GHG emissions in Australia, which pledged to reduce its emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris Climate Accord, stood 11.7% below their 2005 level in the year to March 2019.
According to the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA), a total of 11.4 GW of new solar PV capacities was connected to the Chinese grid in the first half of 2019, i.e. less than half of the capacity added in the same period in 2018 (24 GW). The new capacity raised the country's total solar PV capacity to 186 GW (+20% increase compared to the first half of 2018). Centralised PV power plants capacity rose by 6.8 GW (+16%) to 130 GW, while distributed capacity surged by nearly 4.6 GW (+31%) to 55 GW.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US LNG exports have been rising steadily since 2017, to 4.7 bcf/d (133 mcm/d) in May 2019. The recent LNG exports level makes the United States the third-largest LNG exporter in the first five months of the year with an average of 4.2 bcf/d (119 mcm/d), over the January-May 2019 period. The United States expects to remain the third-largest LNG exporter in the world in 2019-2020, behind Australia and Qatar.