Sharp rise in crude oil production in the USA.
In December 2018, the OPEC and Russia agreed to jointly reduce crude oil production to put a downward pressure on oil prices and limit the global glut. Under this OPEC+ agreement (as of January 2019, extended and strengthened in 2020), crude oil production declined by 4.9% in Saudi Arabia and stabilised in Russia (+0.8%), whereas Nigeria kept on raising its production (+4.8%).
International prices steadied but remained below their 2018 levels (-10% for the Brent, at US$64/bbl), as crude oil production in the USA set a new record (+11%) thanks to a boom in non-conventional output (mainly in the Permian region) and new projects coming online. This surge in US oil production widened the gap with Saudi Arabia, with the US producing 37% more oil than Saudi Arabia in 2019.
The Middle East experienced an overall decline (-6.1%), due to rising regional tensions, culminating in a drone attack in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iran, where oil production fell by 34%. Similarly, oil production in Latin America dipped (-5.2%), due to political issues including the US sanctions in Venezuela (-32%) and the continuous decline in Mexico’s output (-7%), and despite a 7% growth in oil production in Brazil (surging pre-salt production).
In 2020, European Union-wide electricity consumption declined by more than 4%, as rising demand by households could not reverse falls in other sectors of the economy. The share of renewables in the EU power mix rose to 39%, surpassing fossil fuels (36%) for the first time. Indeed, coal- and lignite-fired power generation fell by 22% (-87 TWh), due to a strong competition from gas (very favourable price), higher carbon prices and new retirements of coal-fired power capacities. Consequently, the carbon footprint of the power sector in the EU dropped by 14% in 2020, with fuel switching being the main factor behind the decarbonisation trend. The European Union added 29 GW of solar and wind capacity in 2020, which is comparable to 2019 levels.
The global renewable capacity increased by 10.3% in 2020, when 261 GW of new projects were commissioned, raising the global renewable capacity to 2,799 GW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Almost two third of the new renewable capacities were installed in Asia (167.6 GW, corresponding to a 15% growth), followed by Europe (+34.3 GW, +6%), North America (+32.1 GW, +8%), South America (+9.4 GW, +4%), Oceania (+6.9 GW, +19%), Eurasia (+6.2 GW, +6%), the Middle east (+1.2 GW, +5%), Africa (+2.6 GW, +5%) and Central America and the Caribbean (+0.3 GW, +2%).
Turkey’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 3.1% in 2019 to 506 MtCO2eq, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. The energy sector is the largest contributor (72% in 2019) to emissions, followed by the agriculture sector (13%), the industrial processes and product use (11%) and waste (3%). GHG emissions have more than doubled since 1990 (220 MtCO2eq) and GHG emissions per capita have increased by more than 50% (from 4 tCO2eq to 6.1 tCO2eq in 2019).
Sweden’s solar photovoltaic capacity increased from nearly 700 MW in 2019 to over 1,090 MW in 2020, according to the national solar energy association Svensk Solenergi. The country added 392 MW of capacity in 2020, against 287 MW in 2019.