New energy efficiency improvement in India in 2021, above the 2% average of the 2000-2019 period.
Global energy intensity improvement in 2021 is below the 2000-2019 average (-1%, vs. -1.5%/year over 2000-2019).
Global energy intensity (total energy consumption per unit of GDP) is slower than its historical trend (-1.5%/year on average between 2000 and 2019), widening again the gap with the 3.5%/year decrease required to achieve the 2°C scenario. This slowdown is mainly due the rebound in energy consumption in 2021 (+5%) that is close to the rebound of the global GDP (+6%). Energy intensity levels and trends differ widely across world regions, reflecting differences in economic structure and energy efficiency achievements. Since 2000, the USA and the EU have cut their energy intensity by around 2%/year thanks to energy efficiency efforts (especially in the power sector) and to a lesser extent to a structural shift toward less energy-intensive industry branches and the growing share of services in the GDP. In 2021, the improvement was much slower in the EU (-0.8%), and in the United States (-1%). China’s energy intensity remained stable in 2020 (-0.1%, compared to a 2.8%/year improvement over the 2000-2019 period). In 2021, its energy intensity went back to the 2000-2019 average with an improvement of 2.7%. The high energy intensity in the CIS, the Middle East, China and some Asian countries (Taiwan, South Korea) is explained by the dominance of energy-intensive industries, commodity exporting-based economies and low energy prices that do not encourage energy efficiency. In 2021, energy intensity improved in Asia (especially in India and China), in Australia, in the Middle East, and in Latin America (improvements in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico). Energy intensity increased in Africa (improvements in Algeria contrasting with growth in Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt).