Asia will consume half of the world’s power for the first time by 2025
By 2025, Asia will consume half of the world’s power for the first time, noted a new forecast released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Nearly 70 per cent of the increase in the world’s power demand is estimated to come from developing countries, with China, India and Southeast Asia leading the way, the Paris-based body said in February 2023.
In terms of absolute growth, China is anticipated to dominate with a rise of 58 Terawatt-hour (TWh) from 2022 to 2025. India is expected to see the biggest percentage growth, with an increase of 81 per cent.
India’s power consumption increased far more quickly than China’s in 2022. This difference might be attributed to several variables, including Zero-Covid policy, population growth, economic progress and rising urbanisation.
China’s Zero-Covid policy, which affected the country’s economy as a whole, slowed down the increase in power consumption.
On the other hand, “In India, the robust post-pandemic recovery continued to support strong electricity demand of over 8.4 per cent in 2022,” the report noted.
The combined demand for energy of the two countries accounted for over 70 per cent of the region’s total consumption of 13,500 TWh, or about 50 per cent of global consumption.
However, Africa’s consumption is still far lower than its proportion of the world’s population. Only three per cent of the world’s total power consumption in 2025 will come from Africa, which is home to over a fifth of the planet’s nearly eight billion people, highlighted IEA.
For the next three years, most of the world’s electricity supply growth will come from nuclear power and renewable sources like wind and solar. This will significantly impact the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, said the document.
“The good news is that renewables and nuclear power are growing quickly enough to meet almost all this additional appetite, suggesting we are close to a tipping point for power sector emissions,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
Drastic reductions in emissions from all sources are urgently needed to prevent the average world temperature from increasing by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, according to scientists.
Since temperatures have already risen by more than 1.1°C from the reference period, the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s stated goal seems more improbable.
A complete switch from fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil to low-carbon energy sources is one option to achieve the target. Nevertheless, while some areas are using less coal and gas to generate energy, others are increasing their usage, the IEA said in a press release.
“Governments now need to enable low-emissions sources to grow even faster and drive down emissions so that the world can ensure secure electricity supplies while reaching climate goals,” said Birol.
Along with the high cost of electricity production, extreme weather events posed a threat to the world’s power networks in 2022.
“In addition to the drought in Europe, there were heatwaves in India, where the hottest March in over a century was recorded, resulting in the country’s highest ever peak in power demand,” the report read.
Power systems also faced challenges in multiple regions in 2022 due to such events. “Heatwaves and droughts strained the supply situation in both China and India,” the report added.
In India, the demand for electricity increased significantly in 2022 by 8.4 per cent, driven by a combination of the slowdown in economic growth brought on by the Covid-19 epidemic and the peak of the summer season.
“We expect demand growth to continue at close to 5.6 per cent on average per year during 2023-2025,” the agency said.
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