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Global consumption of primary energy by fuel 2018-2019

The total consumption of primary energy sources is increasing worldwide. Oil is the most consumed primary energy source in the world, with 193 exajoules consumed in 2019. Most notably, the use of renewables sources is growing at a steady rate.

Rising demand for fossil fuels

Demand for fossil fuels – such as natural gas, oil, and coal – has remained high, as consumption of primary energy has increased. The use of oil has consistently grown each year, while consumption of other non-renewable fuel types has been more varied, with natural gas briefly overtaking coal as the second-most consumed fuel in 2015. Increased natural gas consumption worldwide is predicted due to decreased costs of natural gas in the United States over the past two decades.

Natural gas use by region

North America had the largest increase in consumption of natural gas from 2017 to 2018, as the United States has become one of the largest producers in the world. High levels of U.S. supply have reduced the price of natural gas in the country in comparison to other regions. Oil consumption in Central and South America also decreased during this period and has been declining since 2014.

Primary energy consumption worldwide in 2018 and 2019, by fuel type (in exajoules)*

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

2018 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*In this review, primary energy comprises commercially traded fuels, including modern renewables used to generate electricity. Energy from all sources of non-fossil power generation is accounted for on an input-equivalent basis.

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Statistics on "Energy consumption in the U.S."

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