International Energy Agency: The world needs to add or upgrade 80 million kilometers of power grids

The International Energy Agency recently issued a special report stating that to achieve all countriesclimate goals and ensure energy security, the world will need to add or replace 80 million kilometers of power grids by 2040 (equivalent to the total number of all current power grids in the world). Make significant changes in supervision methods.

The report, “Power Grids and a Secure Energy Transition,” takes stock of the current state of global power grids for the first time and points out that power grids are critical to decarbonizing electricity supplies and effectively integrating renewable energy. The report warns that despite strong electricity demand, investment in grids has declined in emerging and developing economies except China in recent years; grids currently “cannot keep up” with the rapid deployment of solar, wind, electric vehicles and heat pumps .

As for the consequences of the grid investment scale failing to keep up and the slow pace of grid regulatory reform, the report pointed out that in the case of grid delays, the power sectors cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from 2030 to 2050 will be 58 billion tons more than the promised emissions. This is equivalent to the total carbon dioxide emissions from the global power industry in the past four years, and there is a 40% chance that global temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

While investment in renewable energy has been growing rapidly, almost doubling since 2010, total global grid investment has barely budged, remaining at about $300 billion per year, the report said. By 2030, this funding must double to more than $600 billion per year to achieve climate goals.

The report points out that in the next ten years, in order to achieve the energy and climate goals of various countries, global electricity consumption needs to grow 20% faster than the previous decade. At least 3,000 gigawatts of renewable energy projects are currently lined up waiting to be connected to the grid, equivalent to five times the amount of new solar photovoltaic and wind power capacity added in 2022. This shows that the grid is becoming a bottleneck in the transition to net zero emissions.

The International Energy Agency warns that without more policy attention and investment, insufficient coverage and quality of grid infrastructure could put global climate goals out of reach and undermine energy security.

Post time: Oct-20-2023