Following the first module released in July, Eni publishes the final version of the 21st World Energy Review for 2022. Besides a modular version that makes information available more promptly, an interactive platform has been set up in order to help you navigate through specific selected items.
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The main challenge that the energy industry is facing is to improve universal access to affordable energy while, at the same time, accelerating the transition process towards a more sustainable energy mix.
This year the issue of critical minerals was introduced so as to deepen the energy transition process.
The transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy sources calls for the massive deployment of a wide range of clean energy technologies, many of which in turn rely on critical minerals such as cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel and rare earth elements. The increase in consumption of critical minerals for the acceleration of clean energy transition and high geographical concentration of productions in a few countries could make these minerals subject to strong price volatility and geopolitical influence.
The Review includes data on:
- oil: reserves, production, consumption, prices and refining industry, crude quality and refining industry;
- natural gas: reserves, prices and estimate of production and consumption
- renewables: power capacity and estimate of global power generation
- critical minerals: (cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper and rare earths) reserves and production
Energy Global Trends
Looking at the evolution of the world of oil, natural gas, modern renewable sources and critical minerals, the following highlights emerge:
- Oil prices were up by 70% in 2021 as demand recovered (+6.1% YoY) but remained below pre-pandemic levels. OPEC+ kept a “close eye” on production and market balance, delivering a gradual easing of cuts in the second half of the year while by the year-end bringing down global inventories to below the previous five-year average. Production capacity growth struggled to keep pace with the recovery in demand.
- World oil production increased by 1.4% YoY in 2021. There was no significant change in terms of crude quality. It was confirmed that the process of the lightening barrel halted, most notably due to broadly unchanged US production growth.
- Gas prices were up in all markets (~+400% in Europe, + 300% in Asia and + 90% in US), with a marked uptick in the second half of the year. The post-Covid rebound in energy consumption and the challenge of adjusting supply up in a timely fashion (also due to the unplanned stoppages of some liquefaction plants) were the main drivers underlying this upward trend.
- In 2021 global gas demand returned to growth (+3.9%) after the decline in 2020, notably in Russia (+11.8%) and Europe (+6.7%). Among the top-10 gas consuming countries, the U.S., albeit still at the first place, confirmed the negative trend of 2020 with a -1.6% fall, while China recorded an increase of 4.2%, retaining its position as the largest global importer.
- Global gas production also reported a 3.5% increase, after the slowdown in 2020, mainly accounted for by Russia (+9.8%) and Africa (+11.9%, especially Algeria and Egypt).
- In 2021 LNG saw its share on total traded gas at 39% (40% in 2020), downwards for the first time since 2015. However, in 2021 the LNG traded volumes grew to 488 Bcm, of which around 70% was imported into Asian countries. Over the year, the U.S. increased its LNG exports by 9%.
- In 2021, solar and wind share on total power generation reached 10%, increasing by 1 percentage point with respect to the previous year.
- In 2021 solar power continued to dominate renewable capacity expansion with 138 GW of new installations, half of which was installed in China (53 GW) and US (20 GW). Global installed solar capacity reached 855 GW (+19% YoY), almost entirely photovoltaic.
- In 2021 wind also kept growing: global capacity reached 823 GW (+12.6% YoY). Compared with 2020 (+111 GW), new installations decreased to 92 GW, roughly half of which were installed in China (+47 GW).
- All critical minerals included in this review (cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel and rare earths) saw an increase of production in 2021, reflecting an uptick in demand and prices, after the constraints of the health emergency in 2020.
Benefits of the new version of the World Energy Review 2022
- modular version to provide quicker information
- interactive version to facilitate content navigation
- insights into the issue of critical minerals, fundamental for the energy transition