Higher demand pushed energy-related emissions to historic high in 2018: IEA


"This marked the first time since the start of the shale revolution that gas demand has grown at the expense of coal while gas prices increased", the IEA said.

Gas consumption in the USA leapt by 10%, or the equivalent of the UK's entire gas consumption in a year.

A 2.3 percent jump in global energy demand previous year outstripped the expansion of renewables and helped drive record-high greenhouse gas emissions. India also had the largest share of energy consumption after China and the US. The annual increase in USA demand in 2018 was equivalent to the UK's current gas consumption.

Nearly two-thirds of the growth came from generating electricity, the IEA reported Still with all the renewable energy being built, that increase was smaller than the total increase in demand for energy, which rose 2.3 percent in 2018. Solar and wind generation grew at a double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31 per cent. However, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use. Despite this, harmful emissions from coal increased in 2018, accounting for 10 billion of the estimated 33 billion metric tons (MT) of annual Carbon dioxide emissions. ENERGY EFFICIENCY HELPING AVOID EMISSIONS Despite overall increase, some emissions have been prevented.

The report provides a snapshot of recent global trends and development across carbon emissions, energy efficiency, fuels and renewable source.

Oil demand grew by 1.3 percent in 2018, while coal consumption was up 0.7 percent as higher demand in Asia outpaced declines everywhere else.

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Fossil fuels generated 70 percent of the total energy consumption. Increasing power generation was responsible for half of the growth in primary energy demand, it added. Renewables and nuclear power met the majority of the growth in demand. China remains the world's leading renewable energy country, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and then the United States. "Last year's 0.7 percent increase was significantly slower than the 4.5 percent annual growth rate seen in the period 2000-10", the report indicated. This was thanks to more renewable power generation additions: in power generation, renewables accounted for 45 percent of demand growth in 2018. In the U.S., after stable consumption in recent years, demand jumped by nearly 4% to a record level of almost 4000 TWh, 17% of the global total. "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, and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilization and storage". It says weather conditions around the world also added to the Carbon dioxide discharge, with increasing demand for heating and cooling systems. India's emissions growth this year was higher than that of the United States and China - the two biggest emitters in the world - and this was primarily due to a rise in coal consumption.

Renewables increased by 4 percent, accounting for nearly one-quarter of global energy demand growth. In China, it increased by nearly 18 per cent.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said more work was needed to increase power generation from renewable energy sources, with demand rising by 4 per cent past year.

According to the IEA report, overall global energy demand grew 2.3 percent in 2018.

The industry's powerful China Electrical Council called this month for ramping up the national coal power capacity to as much as 1,300 gigawatts by 2030, a 30 percent increase compared to today's levels.