The total drop in energy use is equivalent to the entire energy demand of India -- the world’s third-largest energy consumer.
Rabat – Global energy demand is set to drop at least 6% this year. The figures represent the largest decrease ever recorded.
For decades, high energy demands have promised an increase in energy emissions. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the extensive measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 have had a shocking impact on fuel consumption.
In the first quarter of 2020 global energy demand fell by 3.8%. Countries in full lockdown are reportedly showing a 25% decline in energy demands per week.
The total drop in energy use is equivalent to the entire energy demand of India — the world’s third-largest energy consumer.
IEA Executive Director, Dr. Fatih Birol, describes the numbers as a “historic shock to the entire energy world.”
“It is still too early to determine the longer-term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before,” he explained.
Coal, oil, and gas have taken a particularly deep plunge — combined, taking a 3% dip in 2020. Global CO2 emissions are expected to fall back to the levels they stood at 10 years ago, marking an 8% decrease.
Predictions show electricity use could drop by 5-10% in 2020 and as a result, demand for coal is set to decline by 8%.
Advanced economies are expected to see the most significant demand decline. Demand in the US is reported to drop an estimated 9%, while the European Union’s demand is expected to fall 11%.
Renewable energy production, however, is expected to increase due to low operating costs.
Although the new expected levels of emissions are significant, the UN recently reported a sealed deal for climate change.
According to a press release by the World Meteorological Organization, the “gas remains in the atmosphere and oceans for centuries. This means that the world is committed to continued climate change regardless of any temporary fall in emissions due to the Coronavirus epidemic.”
Nevertheless, environmental scientists are hopeful that the projected data will inspire a commitment to cleaner energy infrastructure. If the trending decrease continues, the world may have a chance to meet the UN’s trajected goal of a 7.6% annual global energy emissions decline.
The change could be enough to curb the impact of global warming by 1.5-degree celsius — an increase that could severely impact water supply, destroy ecosystems, and cause life-threatening heat waves.
The impact of the COVID-19 presents an inverse relationship, dangerously threatening human lives and economies while easing the impact on the earth.