Coal’s good year and uranium’s worst year
Last year coal was the the only fossil fuel to record above average worldwide growth at 5.4%, while nuclear power consumption was off 4.3%, the largest decline on record, said BP in its look at energy use in 2011.
Nuclear’s decline came on the back of sharp declines. Japan cut back nuclear power by 44.3%, and Germany reduced nuclear consumption by 23.2%.
Nuclear energy consumption by region. Graph from BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2012
Coal, the fastest-growing form of energy outside renewables, saw its consumption grow in Asia, especially in China that recorded 9.7% growth.
“Global coal production grew by 6.1%, with non-OECD countries accounting for virtually all of the growth and China (+8.8%) accounting for 69% of global growth,” writes the study’s authors.
Coal consumption by region. Graph from BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2012
Oil is still the world’s leading fuel with 33.1% of global energy consumption. But oil is declining and continues to lose market share, recording the lowest share of the energy supply since BP started its statistical survey in 1965.
Renewables were up from 0.7% of global energy consumption in 2010 to 2.1% in 2011. Wind energy was up 25.8% and solar power increased 86.3%.
Ethanol production was down in due to a poor harvest sugar cane harvest in Brazil.