This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 29, 2005

BP Report Finds Record Growth in World Energy Demand in 2004

Rapid growth in world demand for all types of energy led to higher energy prices in 2004, according to a report issued in mid-June by BP. BP's annual Statistical Review of World Energy found a record increase in the world's total energy consumption, plus the highest percentage increase in energy use since 1984. According to BP, world energy demand increased 4.3 percent in 2004, with a 15.1 percent increase in China and a 2.8 percent growth in the rest of the world. Oil consumption grew 3.4 percent, the fastest growth since 1978, while the demand for natural gas increased 3.3 percent. Global coal consumption also rose 6.3 percent, with China causing three-quarters of the increase. See the BP press release.

China was also responsible for much of the 5 percent growth in the world's hydropower production. Hydropower production grew 16.6 percent in China as new capacity came online, while Europe and Eurasia also contributed by rebounding from drought conditions. Unfortunately, the BP report does not include data on other forms of renewable energy, except to note that in 2003, the world's geothermal power capacity was just over 8,400 megawatts and growing by 1.8 percent per year; the world's solar capacity was at 1,800 megawatts after growing by 35 percent; and in 2004, the world's wind power capacity was almost 48,000 megawatts and growing at an average annual rate of 30 percent. According to BP, wind power now accounts for about 0.6 percent of the world's power production. See the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2005, and in particular, the section on Renewable Energy.