Paris [France], Apr 30 (ANI): The COVID-19 pandemic represents the biggest shock to the global energy system in more than seven decades with the drop in demand this year set to dwarf the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and result in a record annual decline in carbon emissions of almost 8 per cent.
A new report released on Thursday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) provides an almost real-time view of the COVID-19 pandemic's extraordinary impact across all major fuels.
Based on an analysis of more than 100 days of real data so far this year, the IEA's Global Energy Review includes estimates for how energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trends are likely to evolve over the rest of 2020.
"This is a historic shock to the entire energy world. Amid today's unparalleled health and economic crises, the plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
"Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use," he said adding it is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before.
The Global Energy Review's projections of energy demand and energy-related emissions for 2020 are based on assumptions that the lockdowns implemented around the world in response to the pandemic are progressively eased in most countries in the coming months, accompanied by a gradual economic recovery.
The report projects that energy demand will fall 6 per cent in 2020 -- seven times the decline after the 2008 global financial crisis. In absolute terms, the decline is unprecedented -- the equivalent of losing the entire energy demand of India, the world's third-largest energy consumer.
Advanced economies are expected to see the biggest declines with demand set to fall by 9 per cent in the United States and by 11 per cent in the European Union. The impact of the crisis on energy demand is heavily dependent on the duration and stringency of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
For instance, the IEA found that each month of worldwide lockdown at the levels seen in early April reduces annual global energy demand by about 1.5 per cent.
Changes to electricity use during lockdowns have resulted in significant declines in overall electricity demand, with consumption levels and patterns on weekdays looking like those of a pre-crisis Sunday.
Full lockdowns have pushed down electricity demand by 20 per cent or more with lesser impacts from partial lockdowns. Electricity demand is set to decline by 5 per cent in 2020, the largest drop since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Coal is particularly hard hit with global demand projected to fall by 8 per cent in 2020, the largest decline since the Second World War. Following its 2018 peak, coal-fired power generation is set to fall by more than 10 per cent this year.
Renewables are set to be the only energy source that will grow in 2020 with their share of global electricity generation projected to jump thanks to their priority access to grids and low operating costs.