By NIDAA BAKHSH
Coal dominated world energy markets last year by supplying
the biggest share of demand since 1970, making it the fastest
growing fossil fuel, according to an annual review by BP.
Consumption grew 3% last year, driven by coal use in
developing nations, according to a statement today from Europe
s third-largest oil
company. Use of renewables such as solar and wind also
reached a record, accounting for 2.7% of all energy demand.
The findings are another indication that consumers are
prioritizing cheap fuels over efforts to rein in greenhouse
blamed for global
warming. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, and use of it
expanded at utilities from China to Germany.
is increasing its carbon emissions
because its using
too much coal because its cheap, Royal Dutch
Shell chief financial officer Simon Henry said in an
Coals share of global energy use reached 30.1%, just
below the 32.9% share for crude oil, which lost market share
for a 14th consecutive year. China was the worlds
biggest coal consumer, followed by the US and India
In China, coal accounted for 67.5% of the total energy
demand, the lowest on record because of new measures to
combat pollution. Carbon
from fossil fuels use
grew by 4.2%, or 358 metric tons, the slowest in five years,
the report showed.
The big story in coal markets is China, Christof
Ruehl, BPs chief economist, said at a presentation in
Moscow. New policies to combat local pollution by
shutting down coal- intensive production and encouraging coal
substitution may have played a part in cutting the
fuels dominance to the lowest on record.
Natural gas consumption rose 1.4%, below the historical
average of 2.6%, to account for 23.7% of world primary energy
use. Gas demand growth was below average everywhere but North
America, where hydraulic fracturing technology
opened new supplies.
That so-called fracking technique also helped boost oil
supply in the US, which had record output, a trend that will
continue this year, Ruehl said.
Disruptions in oil-producing nations such as Libya, Sudan and
Nigeria were offset by the increase in US production from
shale and other tight geological formations where
supplies are difficult to extract with traditional
This underlines the importance of continuing to secure
these new supplies through continued access to new resources,
policies to encourage markets and investment, and the
application of new technologies worldwide, BP's CEO Bob
Dudley said in the statement.
Worldwide, energy consumption rose 2.3% in 2013, faster than
the 1.8% pace of the year before but below the 10-year
average of 2.5%, BP said. Emerging economies accounted for
80% of demand growth.
Chinas energy consumption rose by 4.7%, below the
10-year average of 8.6%, BP said.