Nuclear up on global energy consumption growth

14 June 2007

Despite high and volatile energy prices throughout 2006, global energy consumption growth remained above average, according to a statistical review from energy major BP. With growth rates continuing the trend of recent years, energy use is also increasingly shifting away from OECD countries and becoming more carbon-intensive, the company says. In the nuclear arena, the OECD countries accounted for the lion’s share of the global increase of some 1.4% in nuclear output, mainly through increased capacity utilisation and capacity upgrades.

For the second year in a row, world energy growth slowed, rising by 2.4%, down from 3.2% in 2005, but still just above the 10-year average with robust demand in Asia Pacific and China in particular. Chinese energy consumption rose by more than 8% with the country’s share of total global consumption rising to more than 15%.

Continued high energy prices resulted in slower consumption growth amongst the main energy importers, particularly the US where primary energy consumption fell by 1% in 2006 compared with 2005. Oil, natural gas and coal usage were down while nuclear energy and hydro-electricity were up very slightly.

The company’s chief economist-designate Christof Rühl commented: “Last year showed markets at work. Primary energy consumption growth has decelerated – particularly for fuels which have seen the highest increase in price. However, global carbon intensity – the link between carbon emissions growth and energy growth – has increased.”

The full review is available at

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