World gas reserves rose by 0.9 per cent in 2016, driven by the United States, Nigeria and Iraq, Eni said on Monday.
During last year, world gas production increased by 0.7 per cent, driven mainly by new Australian LNG plants, according to Eni’s second edition of its report titled World Oil and Gas Review.
United States, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, saw its reserves grow after a decrease in 2015, while production slightly declined by 3.2 per cent after 10 years of growth driven by the shale gas boom, the report said.
Meanwhile, Russia remains the top holder of gas reserves with a 25 per cent. Among the top ten, six are OPEC countries with 32 per cent of the world’s total gas reserves.
In Europe, Norway’s production was almost flat after a strong jump in 2015, whilst output continued to decline in the European Union, down 3 per cent.
In Russia, the world’s second gas producer, output resumed growth after the decline registered last year.
Eni said world gas demand recorded robust growth in 2016, up 2 per cent, thanks to a strong recovery in Europe, up 5.4 per cent, mainly due to the power sector and weather conditions, and in the Asia-Pacific region, up 5.1 per cent, led by strong demand in China, which grew by 8.6 per cent. Gas demand also rose substantially in India and South Korea; UK, Germany, Italy, and France reported the highest increases in Europe, the report said.
Meanwhile, in wind and solar, which are key elements in the energy transition towards a low carbon future, installed capacity accounted for almost 40 per cent of total installed renewable power capacity, Eni said.
China leads the market for solar and wind with an installed capacity of 226 GW or 30 per cent of the world total, the report said.
In 2016, solar photovoltaic capacity additions grew by 50 per cent compared to 2015, reaching a record 71 GW driven by declining cost of technology. Wind capacity increased by 51 GW, but additions fell by 21 per cent compared to 2015. Total new installations were concentrated in China (44 per cent). North America (+21 GW), thanks to new photovoltaic installations, slightly overtook Europe (+19 GW), where wind led the growth.
In 2015, wind represented 3.5 per cent of power generation, solar energy 1 per cent. The contribution of modern renewables to power generation remains lower than their contribution to capacity due to current low average capacity factors (below 25 per cent for wind and 15 per cent for solar).