Latest Database to Help Track Global Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions

How does the Swedish chemical industry make use of renewables and fuel oil for its energy consumption? And what are the global trends in fossil fuels use over the last several years?

World Input-Output Database includes gross energy use, emission-relevant energy use, and CO2 emissions. (Image credit: Fotolia, Ania 2017)

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently launched an online World Input-Output Database (WIOD) environmental accounts that help in answering these and other analogous questions through data available on the household and industrial energy consumption of residents in over 40 countries and their associated CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2016.

Snapshots of Recent Trends in Worldwide Energy Use

Spanning the 28 European Union (EU) countries as well as 15 other key economies in the globe, including the U.S., India, Brazil, China, Japan, India, and the rest of the world region, the JRC database provides the latest trends until 2016 in global energy consumption of their residents, such as:

  • The EU (15% of the global fossil fuels consumed), the U.S (19%), and China (17%) were identified as the regions with a maximum level of global fossil fuels consumption between 2000 and 2016 and also for global CO2 emissions (13%, 17%, and 23%, respectively).
  • Nevertheless, the progress of every region between 2000 and 2016 has been rather different. India and China more than doubled their consumption and emissions of fossil fuels, whereas the EU has led to reduced use and emissions of fossil fuels; consequently, the 2016 levels remained 10% lower than the values recorded in 2000.
  • In 2016, 39.5% of the overall global energy consumption came from crude oil, coke, and coal, 14.1% was derived from natural gas, 11.8% from electricity and heat, and 8.2% from renewable sources. Moreover, the gross energy concept utilized in this database comprises all sources of demand for energy, including those generated from other energy sources like heat or electricity.
  • For the period 2000-2016, the global energy consumption from coke, coal, and crude oil (+37%), renewables (+38%), natural gas (+45%), and heat and electricity (+54%) increased more quickly when compared to the overall total gross energy use increase (+36%).
  • At the global level, the share of gasoline and fuel oil in total energy consumption has reduced from 12.5% in 2000 to 9.2% in 2016, and from 14.7% to 7.6% in the EU region.

Snapshots of Recent Trends in EU Energy Use

  • In the EU, gross energy consumption from coke, coal, and crude oil is lower compared to the global average (30.9%, versus global 39.5%). This is followed by 14.7% and 12.9% from natural gas and from heat and electricity, respectively.
  • In contrast to the global trends, the overall energy consumption in the EU reduced by almost 6% from 2000 to 2016, with coke, coal, and crude oil declining by 16%. Renewables (+90%) were observed to have the highest growth use during the same period.

Snapshots of Recent Trends in CO2 Emissions

  • At the global level, CO2 emissions increased by 43% from 2000 to 2016. Applying the resident-based principle, this increase came mostly from developing economies like China, Turkey, Indonesia, and India.
  • The EU had the largest decrease, specifically in countries like Belgium, Portugal¸ Italy, Czechia, the UK, Sweden, and Greece.
  • In the EU, the gas, steam, electricity, and air conditioning supply sectors released 30% of the total EU produced CO2 emissions during the calculated period. This was followed by households, which were responsible for 21% of the accrued emissions.

Who will Use the WIOD Database?

The database mainly targets researchers and policymakers, and covers global energy use, energy splits and trends, efficiency, and also CO2 emissions produced in the EU and worldwide, with differentiation between households and industries.

In addition, the database provides convenient access to a large amount of data for journalists and others interested in countries’ global environmental footprints.

Earlier versions of this WIOD environmental database were used by EU policymakers to report about the advances realized toward the Energy Union, and also within the European Semester process.

Novelties in the Database

The online JRC WIOD environmental accounts (release 2019) database is comprehensive and consistent with the WIOD economic accounts database. The database also includes a technical report detailing the methodology utilized.

The database’s key novelties are its completeness in terms of geographical coverage (over 40 countries), time (2000-2016), and the residence principle on which the energy consumptions are reported.

Monitoring Energy Used by Country of Residence, and not Geographical Location

Most significantly, the database varies from conventional energy and emissions statistics, because it assigns energy consumption and emissions as per the country of residence of the emitter/user, and not the country in which it occurs.

For instance, the energy consumption and emissions of Danish ships transferring goods from Finland to Sweden are assigned to either Sweden or Finland, and the energy consumption and emissions produced by German residents fuelling their cars in Luxembourg and commuting there are conventionally assigned to Luxembourg. However, in the new database, such uses are assigned to Denmark and Germany, respectively.

In this manner, the database complements the conventional energy statistics, derived indicators, and balances, like those utilized for the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) reporting.

Both the EDGAR and UNFCC databases represent the primary reference data source for EU energy and climate policies, and support the countries to report on their emissions and energy targets.


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