A new global energy economy is emerging, but the transformation still has a long way to go, according to IEA’s new World Energy Outlook report.
ccording to IEA, during 2020, even while economies bent under the weight of Covid-19 lockdowns, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar PV continued to grow rapidly, and electric vehicles set new sales records.
The new energy economy will be more electrified, efficient, interconnected and clean. Its emergence is the product of a virtuous circle of policy action and technology innovation, and its momentum is now sustained by lower costs.
#WEO2021 is out!
Before a crucial #COP26, it shows that while climate ambitions have never been higher, energy transitions have a long way to go
Governments must give the signal that they will drive a wave of investment in a #NetZero future
— Fatih Birol (@fbirol) October 13, 2021
In most markets, solar PV or wind now represents the cheapest available source of new electricity generation. Clean energy technology is becoming a major new area for investment and employment – and a dynamic arena for international collaboration and competition.
Key themes of WEO 2021
- Total fossil fuel demand is higher in the near term than in the WEO-2020 STEPS. However, it is also markedly lower after 2030. For the first time, aggregate fossil fuel demand slows to a plateau in the 2030s and then falls slightly by 2050.
- Natural gas demand is around 600 billion cubic metres (bcm) (or 10%) lower in 2050 than in the WEO-2020 STEPS, mainly reflecting lower projected consumption in the power and industry sectors in emerging market and developing economies in Asia.
- Oil demand starts to decline in the 2030s for the first time in the STEPS as a result of more muted growth in petrochemicals and faster reductions elsewhere.
- Coal use rebounds more rapidly in the near term and stays above last year’s projections until around 2030, but its subsequent decline is faster than projected in 2020 (and much faster than projected five years ago)
- Total CO2 emissions are around 2 Gt lower in 2050 than in last year’s STEPS. Most of the difference is in the power sector, where emissions fall by more than 25% between 2020 and 2050 (compared with a decline of less than 10% in the WEO‑2020). Generation from solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind in 2050 is around 15% and 20% respectively higher in this Outlook.