Fossil fuel use, emissions hit records in 2023

Global fossil fuel consumption and energy emissions hit all-time highs in 2023, even as fossil fuels' share of the global energy mix decreased slightly on the year, the industry's Statistical Review of World Energy report said.

Growing demand for fossil fuel despite the scaling up of renewables could be a sticking point for the transition to lower carbon energy as global temperature increases reach 1.5°C (2.7°F), the threshold beyond which scientists say impacts such as temperature rise, drought and flooding will become more extreme.

"We hope that this report will help governments, world leaders and analysts move forward, clear-eyed about the challenge that lies ahead," Romain Debarre of consultancy Kearney said.

Last year was the first full year of rerouted Russian energy flows away from the West following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and also the first full year without major movement restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall global primary energy consumption hit an all-time high of 620 Exajoules (EJ), the report said, as emissions exceeded 40 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) for the first time.

"In a year where we have seen the contribution of renewables reaching a new record high, ever increasing global energy demand means the share coming from fossil fuels has remained virtually unchanged," Simon Virley of consultancy KPMG said.

The report recorded shifting trends in fossil fuel use in different regions. In Europe, for example, the fossil fuel share of energy fell below 70% for the first time since the industrial revolution.

"In advanced economies, we observe signs of demand for fossil fuels peaking, contrasting with economies in the Global South for whom economic development and improvements in quality of life continue to drive fossil growth," Energy Institute Chief Executive Nick Wayth said.

Industry body The Energy Institute, together with consultancies KPMG and Kearney, has published the annual report since 2023. They took over from bp last year, which had authored the report, a benchmark for energy professionals, since the 1950s.

Fossil fuel accounted for almost all demand growth in India in 2023, the report said, while in China fossil fuel use rose 6% to a new high.

But China also accounted for over half of global additions in renewable energy generation last year.

“China adding more renewables than the rest of the world put together is remarkable," KPMG's Virley told reporters.

Here are some highlights from the report on 2023:


  • Global primary energy demand rose by 2% in 2023 from 2022, to 620 EJ.
  • Fossil fuel use rose 1.5% to 505 EJ, which accounted for 81.5% of the overall energy mix, down by 0.5% from 2022.
  • Fossil fuel use did not increase in a single European country in 2023.
  • Electricity generation rose by 2.5% in 2023, up slightly from 2.3% of growth the previous year.
  • Renewable fuel generation (excluding hydro) gained 13% to a new record high of 4,748 terawatt-hours (TWh).
  • Renewables' share of the overall energy mix excluding hydro was 8%, up from 7.5% in the 2022 report.
  • Including hydro renewables accounted for 15% of the global mix.


  • Oil consumption exceeded 100 MMbpd in 2023 for the first time ever, following a 2% year-on-year rise.
  • Oil supply growth was met by non-OPEC+ producers, with U.S. output gaining 9% on the year.
  • China overtook the U.S. as the country with the largest refining capacity in the world last year at 18.5 MMbpd, though refining volumes still lagged behind at 82% utilization vs the U.S.' 87%.
  • Global gasoline consumption hit 25 MMbpd last year, just above its 2019 pre-pandemic level.
  • Biofuels production increased by 8% to 2.1 MMbpd in 2023, driven by gains in the U.S. and Brazil.
  • The U.S., Brazil and Europe accounted for 80% of global biofuels consumption.


  • Global gas production and consumption remained relatively flat on the year in 2023.
  • LNG supply rose by almost 2% to 549 Bm3.
  • The U.S. overtook Qatar as the leading global supplier of LNG after a 10% rise in production.
  • Overall European gas demand was down 7% on the year in 2023.
  • Russia's share of European gas supply was just 15% in 2023, from 45% in 2021.


  • Coal consumption hit a new high of 164 EJ in 2023, up 1.6% on the year, driven by China and India.
  • India's coal consumption exceeded that of Europe and North America combined.
  • S. coal consumption fell by 17% in 2023 and has halved in the last decade.


  • The record high in renewable generation was driven by higher wind and solar capacity, with 67% more additions in those two categories in 2023 than 2022.
  • As much as 74% of net growth in overall power generation came from renewables.
  • China accounted for 55% of all renewable generation additions in 2023, and was responsible for 63% of new global wind and solar capacity.


  • Emissions grew by 2% on the year to exceed 40 gigatonnes.
  • Emissions rose despite the slight drop in fossil fuels' share of the energy mix, because emissions within the fossil fuels category became more intense as oil and coal use rose and gas held steady.
  • The report notes that since 2000, emissions from energy have increased by 50%.



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