IEA predicts that the core of future power supply growth will be nuclear energy, and the focus of demand will be data centers and artificial intelligence.

Recently, the International Energy Agency released the “Electricity 2024″ report, which shows that world electricity demand will grow by 2.2% in 2023, lower than the 2.4% growth in 2022. Although China, India and many countries in Southeast Asia will see strong growth in electricity demand in 2023, electricity demand in advanced economies has fallen sharply due to a sluggish macroeconomic environment and high inflation, and manufacturing and industrial output have also been sluggish.

The International Energy Agency expects global electricity demand to grow at a faster rate over the next three years, averaging 3.4% per year through 2026. This growth will be driven by an improving global economic outlook, helping both advanced and emerging economies to accelerate power demand growth. Particularly in advanced economies and China, continued electrification of the residential and transportation sectors and significant expansion of the data center sector will support electricity demand.

The International Energy Agency predicts that global electricity consumption in the data center, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency industries may double in 2026. Data centers are a significant driver of power demand growth in many regions. After consuming around 460 terawatt hours globally in 2022, total data center electricity consumption could reach over 1,000 terawatt hours in 2026. This demand is roughly equivalent to Japan’s electricity consumption. Strengthened regulations and technology improvements, including efficiency improvements, are critical to slowing the surge in data center energy consumption.

In terms of power supply, the report said that power generation from low-emission energy sources (including renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower, as well as nuclear power) will reach a record high, thereby reducing the proportion of fossil fuel power generation. By early 2025, renewable energy will overtake coal and account for more than a third of total global electricity generation. By 2026, low-emission energy sources are expected to account for nearly 50% of global electricity generation.

The 2023 annual coal market report previously released by the International Energy Agency shows that global coal demand will show a downward trend in the next few years after reaching a record high in 2023. This is the first time the report has predicted a decline in global coal demand. The report predicts that global coal demand will increase by 1.4% over the previous year in 2023, exceeding 8.5 billion tons for the first time. However, driven by the significant expansion of renewable energy capacity, global coal demand will still fall by 2.3% in 2026 compared with 2023, even if governments do not announce and implement stronger clean energy and climate policies. Additionally, global coal trade is expected to shrink as demand declines in the coming years.

Birol, director of the International Energy Agency, said that the rapid growth of renewable energy and the steady expansion of nuclear power are expected to jointly meet the growth of global electricity demand in the next three years. This is largely due to the huge momentum in renewable energy, led by increasingly affordable solar power, but also due to the important return of nuclear power

Post time: Feb-02-2024