Despite the record-breaking growth of solar and wind power, global energy-related emissions continued to rise.
That’s one of the key findings of the Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy report which suggests in 2022, carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, industrial processes, flaring and methane (measured in carbon dioxide equivalent) reached a record high, surging by 0.8% to reach 39.3 gigatonnes of CO2e.
Notably, emissions specifically from energy use showed a 0.9% increase, reaching 34.4 gigatonnes of CO2.
The report reveals that primary energy demand experienced a slower growth rate in 2022, increasing by 1.1% compared to the 5.5% growth seen in 2021.
However, this still puts primary energy demand at approximately 3% above pre-Covid 2019 levels.
While primary energy consumption increased in most regions, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States witnessed a decrease of 3.8% and 5.8%, respectively.
A positive development noted in the review is the rising share of renewables, excluding hydro, in primary energy consumption – it reached 7.5%, indicating an increase of nearly 1% compared to the previous year.
The report highlights that despite the progress made in renewables, fossil fuels maintained their dominance, accounting for 82% of primary energy consumption.
EI President Juliet Davenport said: “2022 saw some of the worst ever impacts of climate change – the devastating floods affecting millions in Pakistan, the record heat events across Europe and North America – yet we have to look hard for positive news on the energy transition in this new data.
“Despite further strong growth in wind and solar in the power sector, overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again. We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”
EI Chief Executive Nick Wayth expressed that as the world recovered from the pandemic’s effects on energy demand, 2022 presented a new set of challenges with the Ukraine conflict disrupting global supply assumptions.
This upheaval led to a price crisis and significant economic pressures across numerous countries.
Wayth highlighted that the EI Statistical Review underscores the struggle of global energy markets in adapting to the crisis, revealing the complex dynamics of energy trade and the vulnerability of economies to supply and price shocks.