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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Over the last decade, investment in London property had one of the best returns, only beat by Bitcoin and gold, according to a report from Foxtons on Tuesday.

The average price of a London home in December 2013 was £352,028 (US$444,777)—today, the average home is worth £508,037, according to the Land Registry’s December 2023 price data. That’s a 44.3% increase over the last 10 years.

“The London market is undoubtedly the pinnacle when it comes to U.K. property investment and while the last year may have been a challenging one, the value of a London home has still climbed considerably over the last decade,” Foxtons CEO Guy Gittins said in the report.

Gittins added that the capital city’s real estate market has seemingly “turned a corner,” with home sales beginning the year on a promising note.

Foxtons analysed nine other kinds of investments, including wheat, crude oil, natural gas and the FTSE 100 Index, and only two had higher returns than London property over the last decade. No other real estate markets were included in this analysis.

Bitcoin’s value increased the most, up a whopping 4,963% from 2013, according to the report. Gold was the second-best investment of the last decade, with a 66.8% increase in value.

Following London property, the value of silver increased 22.9%, the FTSE 100 Index saw a return of 15.7% and corn’s value increased by 7.9%, according to the report.

The rest of the investment options Foxtons analysed saw a decline in value: wheat fell by 2.5%, WTI Crude Oil by 26.3%, Brent Crude Oil by 30.2% and natural gas by 41.5%.

“The investment landscape is constantly changing, and while some traditional vehicles have seen a sharp decline in value over the last decade, such as natural gas, other emerging markets such as cryptocurrency have experienced a boom period, albeit with a heightened degree of volatility,” Gittins said. “However, it’s fair to say that bricks and mortar has remained one of the most consistent investments one can make down the years and the long-term returns speak for themselves.”