The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a new report that predicts a significant increase in the use of clean energy sources to meet the growing demand for electricity. The report, titled “Renewables to Lead the Growth of Global Electricity Supply,” finds that clean energy sources, including nuclear power, will be the primary source of energy to meet the increase in global electricity demand until 2025. This growth in clean energy is expected to prevent a significant increase in the power sector’s carbon emissions.
The world’s demand for electricity is set to grow significantly in the coming years, with the IEA estimating that it will increase by more than double Japan’s current electricity consumption by 2025. This growth is expected to be led by emerging and developing economies in Asia, with China, India, and Southeast Asia expected to make up more than 70% of the increase in demand. Despite uncertainties surrounding China’s future trends, the country is expected to reach a new record of one-third of global electricity consumption by 2025.
Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA, stated that “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.” However, Birol also noted that governments need to take action to enable low-emissions sources to grow faster and reduce emissions to meet climate goals while ensuring secure electricity supplies.
The report also highlights the increasing impact that weather events have on electricity demand and supply worldwide. In 2022, the world saw extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves and droughts, which led to higher demand for air conditioning and reduced hydropower generation. These weather events have underscored the need for faster decarbonization and the deployment of clean energy technologies. As the clean energy transition gathers pace, the impact of weather events on electricity demand is expected to intensify, and the share of weather-dependent renewables will continue to grow. To accommodate these changes, it will be crucial to increase the flexibility of power systems while ensuring security of supply and resilience of networks.