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 Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a total of 60.4 GW of wind capacity was installed worldwide in 2019 (19% more than in 2018), raising the global wind capacity by 10% to more than 650 GW.
According to the Indian government, the installed carbon-free capacity in the country increased by 72% between late March 2014 and the end of February 2020, from 81 GW to 139 GW. Around 55% of new installations between 2014 and 2020 (58 GW) were solar power plants (32 GW), followed by wind (17 GW, 29%) and large hydro (5 GW, 8%). In addition, 2.8 GW of other renewable sources (biomass, small-hydropower and waste-to-energy) and 2 GW of nuclear were added. Total investment in the Indian carbon-free energy sector reached US$75bn over the 2014-2020 period, with foreign direct investments accounting for 8% of it (US$6bn).
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global offshore wind power capacity increased by 6.1 GW to 29.5 GW in 2019. Offshore wind installations accelerated compared with 2018, when 4.5 GW were added, and accounted for 10% of the new wind power installations.
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), power generation in the Netherlands rose by 5.7% in 2019 to nearly 121 TWh (+6.5 TWh for net power generation). Most of the increase came from thermal power plants, especially from gas-fired power plants, whose power generation surged by 23% (+13 TWh at 71 TWh) in a context of low gas prices and high carbon prices; meanwhile, coal-fired power generation fell by 34% (-10 TWh at 17.4 TWh). According to CBS, renewable power generation rose by 18.5% (+3.5 TWh at 22.4 TWh) in 2019 (+8.5% for wind, including +14% for onshore wind, and +40% for solar), exceeding coal-fired power generation for the first time.