According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Electricity Market Report, last year saw the largest demand increase ever, with 1,500 terawatt hours.
Global electricity demand increased by 6% in 2021 as a result of the rapid recovery from a new type of coronavirus pandemic as well as extreme cold and hot weather conditions.
Insufficient supply of coal and natural gas to meet demand has led to volatility in prices in the energy markets. This situation negatively affected many sectors, especially electricity producers, retail companies, and final consumers.
According to the IEA price index, retail electricity prices in Europe increased by four times the 2015-2020 average in the last quarter of 2021.
Carbon emissions from the electricity sector increased by 7 percent
Last year, electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 6 percent, nuclear power by 3.5 percent and natural gas by 2 percent.
Electricity generation from coal, on the other hand, increased by 9 percent and reached an all-time high, thanks to the advantage of price competition. This was recorded as the fastest increase in electricity generation from coal since 2011. Thus, carbon emissions from the electricity sector increased by 7 percent and reached a record level.
The IEA stated that if rapid structural changes are not made in the sector, the increase in global electricity demand will cause electricity prices and emissions to rise in the next 3 years.
In his assessment of the report, IEA President Fatih Birol stated that the recent increase in electricity prices has left many consumers in a difficult situation and said, “These prices pose a risk of increasing social and political tensions. Policymakers should take action to reduce the impact of the current situation on vulnerable segments and find solutions. Investing in low-carbon energy technologies, energy efficiency, nuclear power generation, and smart grids can save us from today’s challenges.“
Reminding that according to the zero emission scenario of the IEA in 2050, the emissions from the electricity sector should decrease by 55 percent by 2030, Birol said, “Without major policy changes by the government, these emissions will remain at the same level for the next 3 years. This situation will be reversed by 2050. It also underlines how far we are from where we need to be to reach zero emissions and how large-scale changes are needed in the electricity sector.“