As the people is emerging out from the Covid 19 pandemic, the world will see a surge in electricity consumption this year with fossil fuels supplying almost half the increase in a shift that threatens ambitious net-zero carbon emission targets.
“After falling by around one per cent in 2020, global electricity demand is set to grow by close to five per cent in 2021 and by four per cent in 2022,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest Electricity Market Report.
The IEA said that majority of the power increase would take place in the Asia Pacific region. More than half of global growth in 2022 will occur in China, which is the world’s largest electricity consumer. India, the third-largest power consumer, will account for nine per cent of global growth.
The report mentions that renewable power generation continues to grow strongly but cannot keep up with increasing demand. IN 2020, the sector saw a seven per cent expansion. The report forecast that electricity generation from renewables is likely to increase by eight per cent in 2021 and by more than six per cent in 2022. Despite these rapid increases, renewables are expected to be able to serve only around half of the projected growth in global demand in 2021 and 2022. Nuclear power generation will grow by around one per cent in 2021 and by two per cent in 2022, the IEA said.
It pointed out that fossil fuel based electricity is set to cover 45 per cent of additional demand in 2021 and 40 per cent in 2022. The Coal-fired electricity generation would increase by almost five per cent in 2021 and grow by a further three per cent in 2022. The gas fired generation is expected to increase by one per cent in 2021 and by two per cent in 2022.
The IEA in the report stated that CO2 emissions from electricity sector are forecast to increase by 3.5 per cent in 2021 and by 2.5 per cent in 2022.
In the report, the IEA calls for stronger policy actions to reach climate goals. In the IEA Net‐Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, nearly three-quarters of emissions reductions between 2020 and 2025 take place in the power sector, where emissions decline by 4.4 per cent per year on average. To achieve this decline, coal-fired electricity generation needs to fall by more than six per cent a year, partially replaced by gas, which grows by around five per cent a year.
The report shows that prices were 54 per cent higher in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020. The UIEA said that strong variations in fossil fuel prices caused by the Covid-19 crisis during 2020 as well as related changes in electricity demand led to the high price.
The first half of 2021 saw supply shortfalls in multiple regions caused by extreme cold, heat and drought. The Texas power crisis in February, during which customers were without power for up to four days, was assigned the highest rating on this scale..