IEA: Renewables will not cover the world-wide rise in energy demand in 2021
By the end of 2021, renewable energy sources will cover no more than half the growth in world-wide demand for electricity, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report.

    World-wide demand for electricity last year dipped by 1 %, but will rise in 2021 by 5 %, the IEA said in its twice-yearly overview of electricity. Fossil fuels account for 45 % of demand, while nuclear power accounts for 5 % as part of the 50 %share attributable to renewable sources. 

    “As the economy rebounds after the pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in electrical generation from fossil fuels,” Keisuke Sadamori, IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security, said in the report.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, the world economy this year will experience growth of 6 5 %, with growth in 2022 estimated at 4.4 %. Negative growth of 3.3 % was recorded in 2020.

    These figures will inevitably affect power generation. The IEA said coal-fired power generation will increase by 5 % in 2021 and 3 % in 2022 – in 2020, it recorded a decline of 4.6 %.

     Gas-fired generation will climb by 1 % this year and 2 % in 2022 – against a decrease of 4.6 % in 2020.

    For nuclear power, the rise in generation will total 1 % this year and 2 % in 2022 – while the figures for renewable sources will be 8 % and 6 %. 

   The figures for power generation in a longer-term perspective will depend to a great extent on new capacities brought on stream.

  • For renewable energy, world-wide growth in installed capacity will slow from 10 % in 2020 to 9 % in 2021-2022. But renewable sources will still account for 90 % of all new generating capacity brought on stream.
  • By the end of 2022 the world-wide capacity of gas turbine stations will increase by 5 % (or 80 GW) compared to the level seen at the end of 2020. China (20 GW) and the United States (17 GW) will account for nearly half of that increase.
  • For nuclear power, the leading area for bringing on stream new capacity will be Asia. Of the total new generating capacity of 58 GW now under construction, 17 GW is in China, 5 GW is in South Korea and 4 GW is in India.
  • Asian countries also continue to lead the field in coal-fired generation. In China, coal-fired stations under construction will have a total capacity of 90 GW. Indonesia will account for 11 GW of new capacity upon the completion of construction in the next few years and Vietnam for 7 GW.

    Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, China remains a key driver of fossil fuel power generation. According to data from the Global Energy Monitor, capacity of coal-fired stations in 2020 rose by 29.8 GW, taking due account of generating capacity taken out of service. 

    By way of comparison, capacity of coal-fired generation in the rest of the world fell by 17.2 GW (with due account of new capacity brought on stream).


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July 2021