B Y Marina Badoian-Kriticos, Research Scientist, HARC, John McGee, and Eric Teicholz
In April 2021, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its 2021 Global Energy Review with a focus on assessing the effects of economic recoveries on global energy demand and CO2 in 2021. The Review also included negative predictions related to the current state of climate management.
• Global energy demand is set to increase by 4.6 percent in 2021, more than off setting the 4 percent contraction in 2020 and pushing demand 0.5 percent above 2019 levels;
• Electricity demand is heading for its fastest growth in more than 10 years with a projected increase of 4.5 percent in 2021 (equivalent to more than 1,000 terrawatt hours). This is almost five times greater than the decline experienced in 2020;
• Global energy-related CO2 emissions are heading toward their second-largest annual increase ever;
• Energy-related emissions are expected to finish the year just below where they stood in 2019, reversing 80 percent of the decline seen during the pandemic year of 2020;
• At the same time, the IEA is predicting some good news. Renewables are set to provide more than half the increase in global electricity supply for 2021. However, it is also predicted that the demand for coal is expected to rise by 4.8 percent in 2021 to meet the same projected growth in the use of electricity.