Global electricity use surged 6% in 2021, the largest increase in more than a decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in a recent report.
Renewable power has been growing substantially, but 2021 electricity generation from coal and gas hit record levels, the IEA said in its Electricity Market Report—January 2022.
“As a result, the global electricity sector’s annual carbon dioxide emissions leaped to a new all-time high after having decreased for the previous two years,” the IEA said.
The agency predicts that renewables will “meet the vast majority of the increase in global electricity demand,” resulting in a “plateauing of emissions from electricity generation.”
However, this will not assist with immediate goals, said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
"Emissions from electricity need to decline by 55% by 2030 to meet our Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario,” he said. Absent major policy action from governments, “emissions are set to remain around the same level for the next three years,” he added.