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A post-pandemic jump in energy demand globally will drive carbon emissions sharply higher this year, the International Energy Agency said in its flagship report Global Energy Review.
Energy demand will rise by 4.6 percent in 2021, the IEA said, as economies recover from the pandemic. This will more than make up for the 4-percent contraction in global energy demand last year, the agency noted.
Most of the energy demand growth—some 70 percent—will come from Asia. The energy demand growth will come with an increase in carbon emissions, driven by the rebound in demand for fossil fuels. Coal demand alone will rise by as much as 60 percent more than demand for all renewables this year, the IEA said, adding that this will contribute to a 5-percent increase in carbon emissions.
According to the authority, oil demand will rise by 6.2 percent from last year. Still, it will remain some 3 percent below levels last seen in 2019. Oil demand for road transportation is set to rebound by the end of the year, but oil demand for air travel will remain 20 percent lower than 2019 levels until the end of the year.
Coal demand is set for a 4.5-percent increase in 2021, with 80 percent of this higher demand concentrated in Asia, and with China accounting for as much as 50 percent of the global 4.5-percent increase in coal demand.
Natural gas demand is also set to rise, although more moderately than coal, at 3.2 percent. Yet demand will still be stronger than it was in 2019, by 1 percent, according to IEA.
Demand for renewables will also rise, however, and it will rise more strongly than all three fossil fuels individually, at 8 percent, after growing by 3 percent last year. As a result, the share of renewables in the world’s energy generation mix is set to reach 30 percent, from less than 27 percent in 2019.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com