IEA Reports - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  January 18, 2022

IEA Predicts Rapid Renewables Growth Alongside Global Electricity Demand

New renewables demand is expected to grow rapidly between 2022 and 2024, but further policy action will be crucial in getting power sector emissions to a level in line with a 2050 net-zero scenario, the International Energy Agency found in a new report.

IEA’s January 2022 Electricity Market Report details that global electricity demand grew by 6% in 2021, representing a huge bounce back after the pandemic. Nearly half of that growth took place in China alone, with a 10% increase in electricity demand. 

While renewable energy supply grew by 6% in 2021, coal-fired electricity still met more than half the increase in electricity demand and grew its supply by 9%, its fastest growth rate since 2011. IEA attributed cost competitiveness to this increased demand.

The industrial sector saw the largest jump in demand growth, followed by the commercial and services sector. Carbon emissions from electricity grew by 7%, a record high level.

IEA expects renewable energy growth to be able to catch up with demand growth over the next couple of years, with an average of 8% renewables growth per year lined up to service more than 90% of demand growth during that time. Meanwhile, fossil fuel generation is expected to stagnate between 2022 and 2025.

Despite these forecasts for changes in demand and renewable energy supply, IEA still estimates that power sector emissions will remain at the same level from 2021 to 2024 unless drastic effort is taken for the decarbonization of the energy sector.

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