A report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently said that the growth rate in the demand for electricity globally was faster than the growth and roll out of renewable renewable energy capacity and therefore the gap will has to be filled up by power generated from more burning of fossil fuels.
The IEA said in the mid-2021 edition of its Electricity Market Report following a drop of about 1 per cent in power electricity demand globally in 2020 because of the reduction ion industrial activity across the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the electricity demand is set to grow by close to 5 per cent in 2021 and by 4 per cent in 2022 with the recovery of economies.
The agency said that burning fossil fuels, notably coal, would have to be used for meeting almost half of the increase in demand for electricity. That in turn will push up emission of carbon dioxide from the power sector to reach record highs in 2022, IEA noted in the report.
The IEA is expecting strong electricity demand from particularly in the Asia Pacific region, primarily from China and India.
With the increased efforts of the global community to addresses the need of reducing climate change causing carbon emissions, there has been fats expansion of roll out of renewable sources of energy. However the report from the IEA showed that if overall demand is to be met up renewables, the process of producing clearer energy will have to be accelerated.
The IEA anticipates a growth of 8 per cent in renewable energy capacity, including hydropower, wind and solar photovoltaics, in 2021 while it predicts a more than 6 per cent growth for the same sector in 2022. It also expects a 1 per cent and 2 per cent rise in the power generation from the virtually emissions-free nuclear power sources in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
“Even with this strong growth, renewables will only be able to meet around half the projected increase in global electricity demand over those two years,” the IEA said.
“To shift to a sustainable trajectory, we need to massively step up investment in clean energy technologies – especially renewables and energy efficiency,” it said.
The IEA predicted that there would likely be an increase in CO2 emissions from burning coal and gas of 3.5 per cent in 2021 and by 2.5 per cent in 2022.
There would also be a rise of 54 per cent in first half 2021 in the wholesale power prices in advanced economies, when compared to the same period in 2020, the IEA noted in the report.
Full year average prices last year declined by a quarter from 2019.
Disruptions to electricity supply, notably the Texas power crisis in February, have been caused this year because of extreme cold, heat and drought, the IEA also noted in the report.
(Adapted from TheWire.com)