Global Emissions From Electricity Set to Fall Even as Power Demand Climbs, IEA Predicts - Kanebridge News
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Global Emissions From Electricity Set to Fall Even as Power Demand Climbs, IEA Predicts

Starting this year, record generation from renewables and nuclear will cover rising power demand from growth in emerging markets, AI and data centres, the agency says

By GIULIA PETRONI
Mon, Jan 29, 2024 8:55amGrey Clock 2 min

Global demand for electricity is set to grow at a faster rate over the next three years, but with record power generation from renewables and nuclear expected to cover the surge, emissions will likely go into structural decline, according to the International Energy Agency.

Electricity demand is on track to rise by an average of 3.4% a year through 2026, driven by robust growth in emerging economies, AI, cryptocurrencies and data centres, according to the Paris-based organization’s latest report. However, global carbon-dioxide emissions from power generation are expected to fall, as low-emission energy sources—wind, solar, hydro and nuclear, among others—are likely to account for almost half of the world’s electricity generation by 2026, up from just under 40% last year.

“It’s encouraging that the rapid growth of renewables and a steady expansion of nuclear power are together on course to match all the increase in global electricity demand over the next three years,” IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said on Wednesday.

“This is largely thanks to the huge momentum behind renewables, with ever cheaper solar leading the way, and support from the important comeback of nuclear power, whose generation is set to reach a historic high by 2025.”

In 2023, global CO emissions from electricity generation increased by 1%, but the IEA predicts a fall of more than 2% this year and smaller decreases in the next two years. Generation from cleaner energy sources is expected to rise at twice the annual growth rate seen between 2018 and 2023, while coal-fired generation is forecast to fall by an average of 1.7% annually through 2026, the IEA said.

Rapid growth of renewables will be supported by nuclear power. According to the report, nuclear generation is set to rise by roughly 3% a year on average to the end of 2026, despite a number of countries phasing out nuclear power or closing plants early.

France and Japan will restart several plants while new reactors begin operating in Europe, China, India and Korea. Asia will likely remain the main driver of growth, reaching a 30% share of global nuclear generation in 2026, the IEA said.

For years, nuclear power has been at the centre of the clean-energy debate. Proponents including France argue that it is a reliable, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels, while opponents such as Germany say costs and risks from reactor accidents and waste are too high.

At the United Nations’ COP28 climate summit last year, the U.S. and 21 other nations pledged to triple nuclear power capacity by the middle of the century.

Most of the increase in electricity demand forecast by the IEA is set to come from emerging markets. China is expected to be the largest contributor to growth—with consumption boosted by the production of solar PV modules, electric vehicles and the processing of raw materials—while India is forecast to grow the fastest among major economies.

Rapid expansion of artificial intelligence, data centres and cryptocurrencies will also be a driver of growth, according to the agency, which predicts their power demand could double to roughly the equivalent of electricity consumption in Japan.

Last year, electricity demand growth slowed to 2.2% from 2.4% in 2022, as advanced economies suffered the impact of high inflation and lower industrial output, the IEA said.

Demand in the U.S. decreased by 1.6% after rising 2.6% in 2022, mainly because milder weather reduced the use of heaters and coolers, but demand is expected to recover this year to 2026. European Union power demand declined for the second consecutive year in 2023—despite a fall in energy prices—and isn’t expected to return to high levels until 2026 at the earliest, the IEA said.



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Leaders with epic hobbies seem to squeeze more hours out of the day than the rest of us

By Callum Borchers
Fri, Jul 19, 2024 4 min

Many of us can barely keep up with our jobs, never mind hobbies. Yet some top executives run marathons, wineries or music-recording studios on the side. How can they have bigger responsibilities and more fun than we do?

It can seem like ultrahigh achievers find extra hours in the day. They say they’ve just figured out how to manage their 24 better than the rest of us.

They also admit they take full advantage of the privileges of being a boss—the power to delegate and the means to do things like jetting to Denmark for a long weekend of windsurfing.

Dan Streetman trains as many as 20 hours a week for Ironman triathlons in addition to his job as CEO of cybersecurity firm Tanium. It’s a big commitment for anyone, never mind a corporate leader who travels to meet with customers every week. He pulls it off by sleeping fewer than seven hours a night and waking around 5 a.m., planning his exercise sessions months in advance, and switching his brain from work mode to sport mode almost as fast as he transitions from swimming to cycling during a competition.

“I tend to work right up until the day of the race,” says Streetman, 56 years old. “I remember being on a board call on a Friday night, and Saturday morning was an Ironman. That’s just part of it.”

Ahead of business trips, he maps running routes in unfamiliar cities and scouts nearby pools, often at YMCAs. He rides stationary bikes in hotel gyms and, if they’re subpar, makes a note to book somewhere else next time he’s in town.

Leaders who eat, breathe and sleep business can appear out of touch at a time when employees crave work-life balance and expect their bosses to model it. Today’s prototypical CEO has a full life outside of work, or at least the appearance of one.

Their tactics include waking up early, multitasking and scheduling fun as if it were any other appointment. When you’re a top executive, hobbies tend to disappear unless they’re on the calendar. One CEO told me he disguises “me time” as important meetings. Only his assistant knows which calendar blocks are fake.

Ben Betts calls himself a “spreadsheet guy,” which is a bit like saying Michelangelo was a paint guy. With Excel as his canvas, Betts creates cell-by-cell checklists for just about everything he does, from cooking Christmas dinner to building a coop for newly hatched ducklings.

Betts, 41, is CEO of Learning Pool, a professional-development software maker. The duck home is part of his ambitious effort to restore an 18th-century farmhouse in England. He’s been renovating for about five years and aims to finish this fall.

On a recent Saturday, Betts’s spreadsheet called for stripping overhead beams by 5 p.m. so he could refinish them. Otherwise, the task would have to wait until the following weekend, throwing off his whole timeline. His vision of the home as a cozy enclave—completed in time for the holidays—can only come true if he sticks to a precise plan.

“Sometimes I stand in the doorway, and my wife probably wonders what I’m staring at,” he says. “I’m picturing us on a corner sofa with our two kids and the dog, watching a film in front of the fireplace I installed.”

Back in the swing

John Sicard , president and CEO of supply-chain manager Kinaxis , got back into drumming many years after he let go of his dream to become a professional musician. He practices almost every day, but his sessions sometimes last only 20 minutes. He rehearses with bandmates two or three times a month. That’s enough to prepare Sicard, 61, to play Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin covers at occasional charity gigs.

He also built a studio in his house, where he records up-and-coming artists. He finds time by sticking to this management philosophy: “The most successful CEOs do the least amount of work.”

For Sicard, that means letting his lieutenants take charge of—and responsibility for—their divisions. Many corporate leaders work harder than they need to because they micromanage or hire poorly and pick up the slack, he says.

Thomas Hansen , president of software maker Amplitude, is back to windsurfing, a sport he competed in as a teenager. He lives near the ocean in California but gets out on the water only about once a month, when the waves are just right. Hobbies don’t need to be daily activities to be fulfilling, he says, especially if they require training regimens.

To stay in shape for windsurfing, he rises at 4:30 a.m., seven days a week, for an hour of exercise. Hansen, 54, also guards his Saturdays and Sundays like the crown jewels of Denmark, his native country, limiting himself to two working weekends a year. Things that feel urgent can almost always wait till Monday, he contends.

‘Like a badass’

When Christine Yen isn’t calling the shots at work, she’s circling a racetrack at 80 mph on her Honda CB300F motorcycle. The co-founder and CEO of Honeycomb, which helps engineers diagnose problems in their software, took up racing a few years ago.

Prepandemic, her motorcycle was strictly for commuting in San Francisco—and making an impression. She loved pulling up to investor meetings in her hornet-yellow helmet and leather riding suit.

“It fits me like a glove, and it makes me feel like a badass,” says Yen, 36.

The keys to spending full days at the track are planning and being willing to work at odd hours, Yen discovered. Her favorite track publishes racing schedules in 10-week batches. As soon as a slate is released, she circles the dates when she expects her workload will be lightest, aiming to participate in roughly half of the events.

“I have also been known to bring my laptop to the motel and get some work done in the evenings,” she says. “It sounds boring to say hobbies can be scheduled, but that’s how I protect my time.”