Graphic shows change in global energy demand since 1900, and projected change in 2020 relative to 2019.


Global energy demand to plunge 6% in 2020

May 4, 2020 - Global energy demand is on course to fall by six percent in 2020 – the steepest decline in 70 years – according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) report that assesses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The impact of coronavirus disease (Covid‑19) on energy demand in 2020 would be more than seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, the IEA says. In absolute terms, the decline is equivalent to losing the entire energy demand of India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer.

The projections are based on the assumption that the lockdowns are progressively eased in most countries in the coming months, accompanied by a gradual economic recovery.

Almost every part of the energy sector is expected to be hit by the pandemic, according to the report. In the first quarter of 2020, energy demand fell 3.8% on the year, erasing all growth from 2019.

Electricity demand is set to fall 5% in 2020, the largest slump since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Coal is expected to decline 8% this year, the most since World War ll. Even natural gas demand is slated to fall 5% in 2020 after a decade of uninterrupted growth.

The only energy source that is expected to grow in 2020 is renewables, the report said.

PUBLISHED: 04/05/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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