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BP released its annual Statistical Review of World Energy last week, revealing good news as well as some surprising trend reversals.

After 3 years of stagnation, carbon emissions went up by 1.6 percent in 2017. This was driven, in part, by an increase in coal consumption for the first time since 2013. Generally, global GDP growth due to industrial activity, as well as an increasing global population, are the main factors behind these trends.

Although energy consumption continues to grow around the world, much of the demand is being satisfied by natural gas production and renewable energy deployment. Due to the decreasing manufacturing costs in technologies like solar PV, renewables accounted for 49 percent of our power generation. Renewable power share grew by the largest amount ever last year – with wind and solar energy contributing the most to the mix.

Affordable, clean and efficient power continues to be a challenge for sustainable development. Environmental policy encourages a shift to cleaner energy in countries like China and the European Union but in many developing countries, access to electricity is delivered from fossil fuel sources. The proportion of global electricity from low-carbon sources has remained the same. The report renews debates over the mechanisms needed to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals. This includes placing a meaningful price on carbon, improving infrastructure for electric transportations, and filling the intermittent gaps of renewable energy with better storage and more efficient technology to reduce the energy sector’s carbon.

Further Reading:
BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018
BP Report Labels 2017 as “Bumper Year” for Natural Gas
The Most Depressing Energy Chart of the Year
BP’s Latest Oil Industry Outlook Holds No Surprises

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