Global energy demand in 2018 grew at its fastest pace in a decade, by 2.3 percent to 14.3 billion tonnes of oil equivalent (Btoe), according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) latest Global Energy & CO2 Status Report.
The rise in energy consumption was fueled by natural gas, accounting for 45 percent of the rise in demand.
Natural gas consumption grew by 4.6 percent to 3.2 billion tons of oil equivalent (Btoe) while the U.S. and China led demand growth.
The U.S. was the single largest driver of higher demand, with a gain of 80 billion cubic meters (bcm). Gas demand in China increased by 42 bcm.
Oil consumption grew by 1.3 percent worldwide, to 4.4 Btoe. The U.S. and China showed the largest overall growth, while demand fell in Japan and Korea and was stagnant in Europe, the report outlined.
In the U.S., oil demand growth hit 540 thousand barrels per day (b/d), followed by China, with 445 thousand b/d.
Global coal consumption reached 3.7 Btoe with a growth rate of 0.7 percent, mostly driven by Asia.
Coal remains the largest source of electricity and the second-largest source of primary energy, according to the report.
Nuclear grew by 3.3 percent to 710 Mtoe in 2018. Worldwide, nuclear plants met 9 percent of the increase in electricity demand.
Meanwhile, renewable energy demand surpassed 2 Btoe, increasing by 19.6 percent.
Energy efficiency across the global economy continued to improve, with global primary energy intensity falling by 1.3 percent.
Despite the growth in renewables, fossil fuels dominated global energy demand. Accordingly, global energy-related carbon emissions rose by 1.7 percent to a historic high of 33 gigatonnes in 2018.
Coal-fired power generation continued to be the single largest emitter, accounting for 30 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
China, India, and the U.S. accounted for 85 percent of the net increase in emissions, while emissions declined in Germany, Japan, Mexico, France and the U.K., the report said.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic