IEA projects decline in global electricity demand this year to hit record since 1950s

Moscow, Dec 14 (Agency) The world’s electricity demand in 2020 is expected to plummet by around 2 percent in 2020, marking the record year-on-year drop since the mid-20th century, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its first-ever Electricity Market Report on Monday. “Global electricity demand in 2020 is projected to fall by around 2%. This is the biggest annual decline since the mid-20th century and far larger than what followed the global financial crisis, which resulted in a drop in electricity demand of 0.6% in 2009. The contraction this year is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on economic activity,” the reports said.

The IAE believes that China, which represents about 28 percent of global electricity consumption, would be the only country to see projected demand growth of around 2 percent in 2020. After initially recording drops in electricity demand in the first quarter due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the country has since registered a year-on-year increase in the demand every month. “With the recovery of the global economy in 2021, global electricity demand is expected to grow by around 3%. This rebound is rather low compared with 2010, the year following the global financial crisis, when electricity demand grew by 7.2%,” the report added. In a report published in late April, the agency said that the global electricity demand was forecast to drop by 5 percentage points this year, the largest drop since the Great Depression in the 1930s, with up to a 10-percent decrease in some regions. According to the report, nationwide lockdowns introduced in a bid to curb the pandemic, have pushed down electricity demand by 20 percentage points or more.