World Gas and Renewables Review 2017

Eni presents the second volume of the World Oil and Gas Review, the annual statistics report on world reserves, production and consumption of oil and natural gas, which marks the 16th edition this year. This volume follows the first one published in July and focused on oil and the refining industry. It provides figures and statistics on natural gas, biofuels, and, for the first time, on modern renewable energy sources (wind and solar), which are key elements in the energy transition towards a low carbon future.

Solar and wind figures refer to the power sector since their contribution to primary energy demand is still marginal, around 1%.

In 2016, world gas reserves increased by 0.9%. This trend was driven by the United States, where reserves grew after a decrease in 2015, and by Nigeria and Iraq. Russia remains the top holder of gas reserves (25% of the world’s total). Among the top ten, six are OPEC countries with 32% of the world’s total.

World gas production increased by 0.7%, driven mainly by new Australian LNG plants. In the US, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, production slightly declined (-3.2%), after a 10 year of growth driven by the shale gas boom. In Europe, Norway’s production was almost flat after a strong jump in 2015, whilst output continued to decline in the European Union (-3%). In Russia, the world’s second gas producer, output resumed growth after the decline registered last year.

World gas demand recorded robust growth in 2016 (+2%), thanks to a strong recovery in Europe (+5.4%), mainly due to the power sector and weather conditions, and in the Asia-Pacific region (+5.1%), led by strong demand in China (+8.6%). Gas demand also rose substantially in India and South Korea; UK, Germany, Italy, and France reported the highest increases in Europe.

At the end of 2016, installed solar and wind capacity (296 and 467 GW respectively) accounted for almost 40% of total installed renewable power capacity (about 15% of all power sources). China leads the market for solar and wind with an installed capacity of 226 GW (30% of the world total).

In 2016, solar photovoltaic capacity additions grew by 50% compared to 2015, reaching a record 71 GW driven by declining cost of technology. Wind capacity increased by 51 GW, but additions fell by 21% vs 2015. Total new installations were concentrated in China (44%). North America (+21 GW), thanks to new photovoltaic installations, slightly overtook Europe (+19 GW), where wind led the growth.

In 2015, wind represented 3.5% of power generation, solar energy 1%. The contribution of modern renewables to power generation remains lower than their contribution to capacity due to current low average capacity factors (below 25% for wind and 15% for solar).

Source / More: Eni

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