The world’s insatiable hunger for electricity is setting in

A report published on Friday by the International Energy Agency found that global electricity demand grew by 6% in 2021, driven by a cold winter and a dramatic economic rebound from the pandemic. This pushed both prices and carbon emissions to new records.
Demand growth was particularly rapid in China, where it jumped nearly 10%.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said the report contained A stern warning for the future.

Electricity has a key role in the fight against climate change as countries run on fossil fuels and more batteries Cars hit the road. But until now, renewable sources of electricity – unlike power stations that burn coal or natural gas – have not been laid.

Electricity generated from renewables rose 6% globally last year, while coal-fired generation jumped 9% due to higher demand and skyrocketing natural gas prices, making it seem like a more attractive option. Had been.

Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation increased by 7%, reaching an all-time high after declining over the past two years.

“This not only highlights how far we are currently on the path to net zero emissions by 2050, but it also highlights the major changes needed for the power sector to fulfill its critical role in decarbonizing the wider energy system. also underlines,” Birol said. in a statement.

In the United States, coal-fired electricity generation increased by 19% in 2021. According to the IEA, the increase is likely to be temporary, however, production from coal is expected to decline by about 6% between 2022 and 2024.

There is some good news: The rapid expansion of renewable energy capacity should be enough to cover the vast majority of the growth in global electricity demand by 2024.

Nevertheless, emissions will remain high.

The IEA found that emissions from the power sector “will remain at the same level from 2021 to 2024”, even though they need to decline “sharply” for the world to limit global warming to 1.5 °C and avoid the worst effects of climate change. be needed. ,

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