By 2025, for the first time in history, Asia will account for half of the world’s electricity consumption and China alone will consume one-third of global electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency’s latest electricity market outlook, global electricity demand is set to grow at an accelerated pace, by 3% per year, as electricity consumption increases in emerging markets and developing economies led by China, India and Southeast Asia.
China will be consuming more electricity than the European Union, United States and India combined.Keisuke Sadamori, IEA Director for Energy Markets and Security
China’s share of global electricity consumption is set to rise to one-third by 2025, compared with one-quarter in 2015. Over the next 3 years, more than 70% of the growth in global electricity demand is set to come from China, India and Southeast Asia combined. Emerging and developing economies’ growth is accompanied by a corresponding rise in demand for electricity. In contrast, last year, electricity demand in Europe eased by 3.5% due to the ongoing energy crisis and a mild winter, but rose in the US, India and China.
Efforts to reinforce energy security will be vital as the world moves away from reliance on fossil fuels and toward clean energy.#WEO22 sets out 🔟 ways policy makers can help ensure secure energy transitions around the world ➡️ https://t.co/2iVnMofkG3 pic.twitter.com/ONCxHIghMS— International Energy Agency (@IEA) February 15, 2023
“Macroeconomics and climate are important aspects that influence the growth of electricity consumption. In 2023, China is expected to see its economy rebound, driving the growth rate of electricity consumption higher than that in 2022. Under normal weather conditions, it is estimated that the country’s electricity consumption will be 9.15 trillion kilowatt-hours, an increase of about 6 percent compared with 2022,” said Hao Yingjie, the Secretary-General of China Electricity Council.
Meanwhile, advanced economies are pushing for electrification to decarbonise their transportation, heating and industrial sectors. However, while the IEA said it expected cleaner energy sources to become more dominant, it predicted a rise in coal-fired generation in Asia-Pacific. As for global nuclear generation, more than half of the growth is expected to come from just 4 countries: China, India, Japan and Korea.
Emerging & developing economies in Asia are driving the faster growth in global electricity consumption— Fatih Birol (@fbirol) February 8, 2023
Over 70% of the rise in global electricity demand through 2025 comes from China, India & Southeast Asia
By 2025, a third of the world’s electricity will be consumed in China pic.twitter.com/e3XK24vCgl
Overall, the Paris-based energy agency estimates that renewables and nuclear energy will dominate the growth of global electricity supply over the next three years, together meeting more than 90% of the additional demand. China accounts for more than 45% of the growth in renewable generation in the period 2023-2025, followed by the EU with 15%. With a growing appetite for renewables, the share of clean energy in the global power generation mix is estimated by the IEA to rise from 29% in 2022 to 35% in 2025. As renewables expand, the shares of coal-and-gas-fired generation are set to fall.
3. Energy security
The IEA report further suggestes that more attention be paid to electricity security and the flexibility of supply systems as flooding, drought and winter storms caused widespread power outages in 2022. The energy crisis has renewed interest among policymakers in the role of nuclear power in contributing to energy security and reducing the CO2 intensity of power generation. In Europe and the United States, for example, discussions on the future role of nuclear in the energy mix have resurfaced.
“As the clean energy transition gathers pace, the impact of weather events on electricity demand will intensify due to the increased electrification of heating, while the share of weather-dependent renewables will continue to grow in the generation mix,” the IEA said. “In such a world, increasing the flexibility of power systems while ensuring security of supply and resilience of networks will be crucial.”