The International Energy Agency expects carbon dioxide emissions to decline by 8 percent this year due to the devastation the coronavirus wreaked on energy demand.
The agency said in the new edition of it Global Energy Review that the annual drop in oil demand this year could reach 9 percent, which translates into a loss of 9 million bpd. This would make 2020 oil demand equal to the average levels in 2012.
Coal demand will also fall substantially, by 8 percent, the IEA said, driven by lower electricity demand. The same is true of natural gas demand, although the authority did not provide specific demand drop figures for full-2020, although it did mention that gas demand fell by 2 percent during the first quarter.
There is good news for renewables, however. According to the IEA, demand for energy from renewable sources will actually increase this year, bucking the trend. This would be possible thanks to low operating costs and “preferential access to many power systems”.
Right now, however, the state of energy demand is dramatic. Every week, according to the IEA, countries in full lockdown are experiencing a 25-percent drop in energy demand. For countries on partial lockdowns, the rate of energy demand loss is a little lower but still significant, at 18 percent a week.
The silver lining is in the emissions. At 8 percent less, these would be 2.6 gigatons lower than emissions in 2019 and equal to levels from a decade ago. This would also be the largest ever annual contraction in CO2 emissions: “six times larger than the previous record reduction of 0.4 Gt in 2009 – caused by the global financial crisis – and twice as large as the combined total of all previous reductions since the end of World War II.”
On the flip side, the economic recovery could add more emissions than were eliminated this year.
By Irina Slav for Oilpice.com
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