Last year, primary energy consumption in Spain fell by -11.4%, more than double the world average (-4.5%), the largest annual decrease since 1945 , according to the latest Statistical Review of World Energy 2021 report by BP.
Following this trend, CO2 emissions were reduced by almost 19% , a figure well above the European average (-12.3%) and the world as a whole (-6.3%). This decrease was driven by the greater weight of renewable energies in the electricity generation mix (31.5%), a new collapse of coal (-53.7%) and the evolution of oil (-18.4%) and gas (-10.1%). Oil remained at the head of the energy consumption mix in Spain, representing 44.4%.
However, despite the fact that hydroelectric energy grew by 21.5%, renewables by 4.8% and the consumption of nuclear energy remained stable, electricity generation fell by -4.7% in Spain last year .
BP highlights in its report that these are the biggest drops in both energy demand and carbon emissions since World War II. A decline mainly driven by oil, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total decline .
In this sense, the United States, India and Russia recorded the largest decreases in energy consumption. While China, for its part, experienced the largest increase (2.1%), being one of the few countries where energy demand grew last year.
Jet fuel use plummeted -40% and gasoline demand fell around -13% . By contrast, oil uses most closely related to the petrochemical sector were broadly stable, supported in part by growing demand for medical supplies.
As for natural gas, prices fell to the lowest recorded in several years. However, its weight in the energy mix continued to increase, reaching a record 24.7% .
The pandemic barely impacted electricity consumption, which fell by less than 1%. Wind, solar and hydroelectric generation grew despite the general drop in global energy demand. In this way, wind and solar capacity increased by 238 GW in 2020, 50% more than at any other time in history .
In general terms, the figures collected in the BP report suggest that the rate of decrease in carbon emissions observed in 2020 is similar to the average needed to stay on track with the Paris climate targets .
Specifically, if carbon emissions continued along these lines, global carbon emissions would be reduced by around 85% by 2050 .