According to the latest electricity report issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global electricity demand will rebound strongly in 2021 and 2022. After falling by about 1% in 2020, global electricity demand is expected to increase by nearly 5% and 4% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Most of this growth will occur in the Asia-Pacific region. More than half of the global growth in 2022 will occur in China, the world's largest electricity consumer. India is the third largest consumer and will account for 9% of global growth.
From 2021 to 2022, renewable energy power generation will continue to grow strongly, but it will not be able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. Despite the rapid growth, renewable energy is expected to only meet about half of the growth in electricity demand in 2021 and 2022.
Fossil fuel power generation will meet 45% and 40% of the additional demand in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Natural gas growth lags behind coal because it plays a smaller role in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, and it also faces increasing competition from renewable energy sources from the United States and Europe.
Wholesale electricity prices have rebounded. The International Energy Agency wholesale electricity market price index, which tracks price trends in major advanced economies, shows that prices in the first half of 2021 have increased by 54% over the same period in 2020. The average price for the whole year of 2020 has fallen by 25%. The reason for these large fluctuations is that the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 has caused dramatic fluctuations in fossil fuel prices and related changes in electricity demand.
The higher share of renewable energy has a measurable impact on the operation and design of the power system. Analysis of selected markets shows that hourly demand changes that must be matched to flexible power generation and consumption are increasing. This makes the power system more flexible to supplement the generation of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar photostatic, becoming more and more important.
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