India, China and US Account For 70% of Rise in Energy Demands: IEA

IEA’s new report reveals that India, China and the US accounted for 70% of the global rise in energy demands last year, as demands were at a 10 year high.

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India, China, and the US together accounted for nearly 70 percent of the global rise in energy demands in 2018, according to a new report “The Global Energy and CO2 Status” by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The report further highlighted that worldwide demand grew by 2.3 percent last year, at its fastest pace since the turn of the decade.  This exceptional rise in energy demand was driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions, according to the IEA report.

Key Highlights:

1. China remains the global leader in renewables, both for wind and solar.

2. Demand for all fuels increased, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70 percent of the growth for the second year running.

3. Solar and wind generation grew at a double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31 percent. Still, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use. As a result, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018.

4. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for a third of the total increase. Most of that came from a young fleet of coal power plants in developing Asia. The majority of coal-fired generation capacity today is found in Asia, with 12-year-old plants on average, decades short of average lifetimes of around 50 years.

5. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for 45 percent of the rise in energy consumption. Gas demand growth was especially strong in the US and China.

6. Electricity continues to position itself as a fuel of the future, with global electricity demand growing by four percent in 2018 to more than 23,000 terawatt hours. This rapid growth is pushing electricity towards a 20 percent share in the total final consumption of energy. Increasing power generation was responsible for half of the growth in primary energy demand.

7. Renewables were a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth. China remains the leader in renewables, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and the US.

“We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Last year can also be considered another golden year for gas, which accounted for almost half the growth in global energy demand. But despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts — developing all-clean energy solutions, curbing emissions, improving efficiency, and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilisation and storage.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for