The rise of low-carbon energy sources to meet growing global demand for electricity by 2026

A ascensão das fontes de energia de baixo carbono no atendimento à crescente demanda global por eletricidade até 2026
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Global demand for electricity is increasing significantly, with projected growth of 3.4% annually from 2024 to 2026. This increase is mainly driven by emerging countries, especially in Asia, where China and India stand out. China, for example, is expected to increase its share of global electricity consumption to a third by 2025, a notable increase compared to a quarter in 2015. This growth is a combination of population growth and industrialization, but is also influenced by factors such as government policies and technological advances. Furthermore, the electrification of new sectors, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, contributes to this increase. In contrast, advanced economies face slower growth, partly due to energy efficiency policies and changes in the macroeconomic environment.

Low-emission energy sources are expanding rapidly to meet growing global demand. By 2025, renewable energy, including solar and wind, is expected to increase its share of global power generation from 29% to 35%. This expansion is driven by both government policies and technological advances, which make renewable energy more accessible and efficient. Nuclear energy also plays a significant role in this scenario, expected to reach new production records. This growth in low-emission sources is crucial not only to meet demand, but also to reduce dependence on fossil energy sources, which are more polluting.

The transition to low-emission sources has a direct impact on global CO2 emissions. Emissions from the global electric power sector are expected to decline by 2.4% in 2024, with declines continuing in subsequent years. This trend indicates an important decoupling between rising electricity demand and carbon emissions, which is vital to achieving global climate goals. This reduction in emissions is a direct consequence of the increase in renewable energy and nuclear energy in the global energy mix. Furthermore, energy efficiency and the adoption of cleaner technologies in industrial and transport sectors also contribute to this positive trend.

Each region faces unique challenges in the energy transition. In Asia, particularly China and India, there is a strong push for the expansion of renewable energy. However, this also brings challenges, such as the need for significant investments in electrical grids and system flexibility to integrate these intermittent sources. In Europe, demand for electricity fell due to the energy crisis and the decline of the industrial sector. European demand is expected to gradually recover, with an annual growth rate of 2.3% until 2026. This growth will be driven by factors such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and data centers.

Looking to the future, the electrification of sectors such as transport, heating and industry will play a crucial role in the transition to low-emission sources. This trend is particularly notable in advanced economies, with the growing adoption of electric vehicles and heat pumps. In the European Union, nine million new electric vehicles and eleven million new heat pumps are expected to be deployed by 2026. This, together with the 30% increase in electricity consumption by data centers, exemplifies the growing role of electrification in various sectors. Globally, the adoption of cleaner and more efficient technologies is fundamental to ensuring a successful energy transition, which is sustainable from both an environmental and economic point of view. Government policies and technological innovations will play crucial roles in this process, ensuring the supply of clean and reliable energy to meet future needs.


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