Natural Gas Current Affairs - 2019

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Global Energy & CO2 Status Report: Key facts

The Global Energy & CO2 Status Report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) makes the following observations:

  • China, the US and India together accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the rise in energy demand and energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3 per cent last year.
  • The rise in energy demand was driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions.
  • Natural gas was the fuel of choice and it witnessed the biggest gains accounting for 45 per cent of the rise in energy consumption. Gas demand growth was especially strong in the US and China.
  • Demand for all fuels increased and nearly 70 per cent of the demand growth was met through fossil fuels.
  • Solar and wind generation witnessed a double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31 per cent. But this was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world which resulted in increased use of coal.
  • Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased by 1.7 per cent to 33 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018.
  • Coal use in power generation surpassed 10 Gt and accounted for a third of the total increase.
  • Majority of coal-fired generation capacity was concentrated in Asia, with 12-year-old plants on average, decades short of average lifetimes of around 50 years.
  • Electricity continued to position itself as a fuel of the future, with global electricity demand growing by four per cent in 2018 to more than 23,000 terawatt hours.
  • China remains the leader in renewables, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and the US.
  • Energy intensity improved by 1.3 per cent last year which was half the rate witnessed in the period between 2014 and 2016. This third consecutive year of the slowdown was the result of weaker energy efficiency policy implementation and strong demand growth in more energy intensive economies.

The findings are part of the IEA’s assessment of global energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for 2018. The report provides a high-level and up-to-date view of energy markets, including the latest available data for oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear power, electricity and energy efficiency.

Growth Rate in the Core Sector witnesses Decline

The growth rate eight core sectors which include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity witnessed a decline as per the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

Reduced growth rate of Core Sector

  • The core sector which had witnessed a 6.2% growth in January 2018 witnessed a growth rate of 1.8 % in January
  • The decline in the output of crude oil, refinery products and electricity pulled down the growth of eight core sectors to 1.8 %.
  • The declining trend which has been witnessed since October 2018 suggests continued weakness in industrial activities and a weak second half economic growth in the financial year 2018-19.
  • Production of crude oil, refinery products and electricity contracted 4.3%, 2.6% and 0.4%, respectively.
  • Coal and cement output slowed to 1.7% and 11% in January as against 3.8% and 19.6% in January 2018, respectively.
  • Natural gas, fertilisers and steel output grew 6.2%, 10.5% and 8.2 % respectively.
  • Higher fertiliser growth has been attributed to the negative base effect last year.

Sluggish core sector growth would impact the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these segments account for about 41 per cent of the total industry output.