Renewable energy is the only source of energy for which demand is likely to grow during the remainder of 2020, regardless of the length of the blockage caused by the pandemic or the strength of the recovery. Global demand for coal has been hit hardest, falling by almost 8%. Oil demand has also been hit hard, dropping by almost 5% in the first quarter.
Energy demand growth by country in 2019 and 2020.
First of all, let us consider the growth rates of electricity consumption for 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The source of all data is IEA. As we can see, the decline in consumption in all countries in 2020 is due to COVID-19. In 2019, developing countries had growth: China, India, South Asia, Africa. The most influential and defining countries in the world had a decline in consumption in 2019: the USA, the EU, Japan and Korea.
IEA, Energy demand growth by region in 2019 and 2020, IEA, Paris
Global generation from coal and low-carbon sources, 1971-2020
As we can see, the share of low-carbon production is expected to grow to 40% in 2020, the highest level ever. Renewable energy sources will reach the highest level in terms of production volume and share, offsetting the decline in nuclear power generation. Wind and solar energy is increasing in any case due to new projects that have been built over the past year, raising their share in generation to almost 9% in 2020, twice as much as in 2015. Coal-fired generation will squeeze out the most in just one year, dropping by 10% in 2020. Gas-fired generation will also be hit hard, sinking by about 7% in a year. the biggest drop in history.
IEA, Global generation shares from coal and low-carbon sources, 1971-2020, IEA, Paris.