Thu 30 April 2020:
COVID-19 is expected to cause global energy emissions to fall a record eight percent this year due to an unprecedented drop in demand for coal, oil and gas, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the coronavirus crisis marked a watershed moment for the global energy industry. “This is a historic shock to the entire energy world,” he said. “Amid today’s unparalleled health and economic crises, the plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas.
“Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use. It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.”
The IEA’s Global Energy Review was based on an analysis of electricity demand over more than 100 days, during which much of the world has entered lockdown in a bid to control the pandemic.
It predicted that global energy demand would fall six percent in 2020 — seven times more than during the 2008 financial crisis and the biggest year-on-year drop since World War II.
Meanwhile, despite supply chain disruptions in several key regions, new solar PV and wind generation is expected to provide a further boost to overall clean electricity generation, which expected to rise five per cent.
In contrast, coal power generation is expected to witness a steep eight per cent decline, the largest drop since the Second World War, and natural gas is poised to see a five per cent decline, marking a major U-turn following 10 years of uninterrupted growth.
The agency expects overall global energy demand to fall by six per cent in 2020, roughly the equivalent of losing the entire energy demand of India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer. Every month of worldwide lockdown reduces annual global energy demand by roughly 1.5 per cent, the report said.
The IEA report comes just days after senior Ministers from around the world signalled their support for green recovery packages at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue conference, with co-hosts the UK and Germany both committing to integrating climate considerations into their economic recovery plans.
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