While electricity generation from hydro, wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) is seen to grow by 8% in 2021 and by more than 6% in 2022, renewables will only manage to compensate for half the projected increase in global power demand over the two-year period, according to a new report.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released on Thursday the latest edition of its semi-annual Electricity Market Report, which says that global electricity demand is set to grow by nearly 5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 because of the economic recovery around the world. This would follow a 1% decline in 2020 that is attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the rise in 2021-2022 will come from the Asia-Pacific region, primarily China and India.
Almost half of the projected increase in global power consumption will be met by fossil fuels, specifically coal, IEA says, noting that this would result in record-high carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the electricity sector next year.
So far, growth in renewable energy has only exceeded that of demand in two years -- 2019 and 2020 -- and that is because of “exceptionally slow or declining demand”.
“Renewable power is growing impressively in many parts of the world, but it still isn’t where it needs to be to put us on a path to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA director of Energy Markets and Security.
IEA’s recent Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 calls for coal-fired power production to be reduced by more than 6% a year.
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