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2020 Global Energy review by the IEA – The impacts of COVID-19 on global energy demand and Co2 emissions.

May 1, 2020

Energy demand has been significantly reducing as a result of the lockdown measures but in place globally in response to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a consequence of the efforts to slow down the spread of the virus the global energy demand has reduced. In response to this the IEA (International Energy Agency) has conducted a Global energy review.

Daily data was collected over a duration of 100 days in 2020, from over 30 countries around the globe. Data collected represents two thirds of the global energy demand. The IEA’s report includes current and future estimates for how energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trends are likely to evolve over the rest of 2020.

The analysis of data by the IEA’s global energy review has shown that in the first quarter of 2020 countries in full lockdown are experiencing a 25% decline in energy demand per week. Countries in partial lockdown are seeing a 18% decline. Demand fell for all other sources of electricity, including coal, gas and nuclear power.

Key findings by the IEA

  • Global energy demand declines by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Coal demand has fallen by 8% when compared with the first quarter of 2019.
  • Global oil demand Is down 5% in the first quarter.
  • By the end of March global road transport activity was almost 50% below the average of 2019.
  • Aviation globally is down over 60% compared to the previous year.
  • Gas demand was moderately down 2% in the first quarter.
  • Renewables were the only source of electricity that showed a growth in the first quarter.

Future productions by the IEA

Looking to a future scenario that a widespread global recession is caused by month-long restrictions on mobility, social and economic activity and the current global lock down is slowly lifted over the next coming months.  The IEA has projected that the result of such a scenario is that energy demand contracts by 6%, the largest decline in 70 years. The impact of Covid‑19 on energy demand in 2020 would be more than seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. All demand for fuels mentioned above will be negatively affected with a reduction between five and nine percent, except for renewables which are expected to increase.

Global CO2 emissions are expected to decline by 8% in 2020. Such a reduction would be the largest ever, six times larger than the previous record reduction in 2009. However, if we are not careful the rebound in emissions may be larger than the decline, unless a percentage of the investment to restart the economy is dedicated to cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure.

Other articles from myecohub include ; 7 tips to save energy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic