According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “Electricity 2024,” the world is poised for an acceleration in electricity demand over the next three years, propelled by the swift adoption of clean energy. Despite a slight dip to 2.2% in 2023, global electricity demand is projected to escalate, reaching an average of 3.4% annually from 2024 to 2026. A significant portion of this surge, approximately 85%, is forecasted to originate from non-advanced economies, particularly China, India, and Southeast Asian nations.
Renewables, including solar, wind, and hydro, alongside nuclear power, are set to dominate electricity generation, comprising nearly half of the world’s total by 2026. Renewables are anticipated to surpass coal as early as 2025, marking a pivotal shift. Additionally, global nuclear power generation is expected to reach a record high in 2025, contributing to the decline of fossil fuels in the energy mix.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol expressed optimism, noting that the combination of renewables and nuclear power is on track to meet the escalating global electricity demand. The report highlights a potential structural decline in power sector emissions, with a projected 2.4% reduction in 2024, signaling a decoupling of electricity demand and emissions. However, it underscores the need for accelerated electrification to align with climate goals.
The analysis also delves into regional variations, noting lower electricity prices in 2023, with Europe experiencing a significant decline, while emerging economies sustain growth. China is expected to spearhead the surge in global electricity demand, even amid a slowdown in economic growth, while India is set to witness the fastest rise among major economies.
On the African continent, the report points to stagnant electricity use per capita, emphasizing the imperative for concerted efforts to ensure reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy access to support economic and climate objectives.