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Global primary energy - statistics & facts

Primary energy is the inherent energy or energy potential of natural phenomena and raw materials prior to human manipulation. The most important primary energy sources are fossil fuels such as crude oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. As the latter two are intangible, primary energy use factors in the amount of electricity (a secondary energy form) generated via these sources. Due to the size of its population and industry, China is the largest primary energy consumer in the world.

Fossil fuel reserves and production

Crude oil is the most supplied primary energy source. Some 187.4 exajoules are produced and distributed every year. Oil is the main feedstock in motor fuels like gasoline and diesel, and also the fundamental ingredient of petrochemicals such as plastics and pharmaceuticals. Global crude oil reserves amount to around 1.7 trillion barrels. Coal is the second most consumed primary energy fuel. Coal consumption is largely driven by electricity demand as it remains the predominant source of electricity generation worldwide. Although figures have fallen by around 10 percent since 1965, the fossil fuel share in energy consumption remains above 83 percent.

The role of renewables in the energy industry

As the world continues to heavily utilize fossil fuels, renewables play a comparatively small role in primary energy consumption. Biomass is the most used renewable energy source, accounting for roughly 10 percent of global primary energy demand shares. Although many governments have committed to net-zero emissions targets for 2050, the OPEC expects renewables to account for less than one-fourth of total fuel demand in 2045.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "Global primary energy".

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