Green Energy Expected to Cover Growth in Demand for Electricity

Paris — Power generated from low-emissions sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear, will be adequate to meet growth in global demand for the next three years, the International Energy Agency said, adding that emissions from the power sector are on the decline.

Following record growth, electricity generation from low-emissions sources will account for almost half of the world’s power by 2026, up from less than 40% in 2023, the IEA said in report on Wednesday.

Renewables are expected to overtake coal by early 2025, accounting for more than a third of total electricity generation, the report said.

Nuclear power is also forecast to reach a record globally as French output continues to recover from lows in 2022, several plants in Japan come back online and new reactors begin operations in markets including China, India, Korea and Europe.

Electricity demand is expected to rise on average by 3.4% from 2024 through 2026 with about 85% of demand growth seen coming from China, India and southeast Asia, after growth eased slightly to 2.2% in 2023, IEA data showed.

Over this period, China is expected to account for the largest share of the global increase in electricity demand in terms of volume, despite a forecast for slower economic growth and a lower reliance on heavy industry, the report said.

Meanwhile, global emissions are expected to decrease by 2.4% in 2024, followed by smaller declines in 2025 and 2026, the report said.

“The decoupling of global electricity demand and emissions would be significant given the energy sector’s increasing electrification, with more consumers using technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps,” the report said.

Electricity accounted for 2% more of final energy consumption in 2023 from 2015 levels, though reaching climate goals would require electrification to advance significantly faster in coming years, the IEA said.

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