Global power demand dips for first time since World War 2
Lesser carbon was emitted in 2008-09 thanks to the world’s electricity demand falling by 2.5 per cent, for the first time since World War 2, said Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Nobuo Tanaka on Thursday at Bergen, 420 km north of Oslo, the capital of Norway.
“It is a direct implication of recession,” Tanaka said at the international conference on carbon capture and storage technologies. “Climate change awareness also contributed a bit.”
The dip is equal to one-third of power generated in India (the world’s 11th largest power producer) or half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity requirement.
“When people lose jobs, many tend to give up housing and live with roommates or relatives. This decreases electricity use. When manufacturing companies close, there is a huge fall in electricity demand,” he said. This much power can light a million poor homes in India and Africa.
Electricity contributes to around 24 per cent of total carbon emissions, most importantly greenhouse gas that leads to climate change. Climate change experts said the huge reserves of coal in India, China, US and Australia would be a major source of carbon dioxide emissions in the future.
Unlike the US, where demand has fallen by 3.7 per cent till January 2009, it has increased by over 2.5 per cent in India despite the slowdown.
Till 2030, IEA estimated, India’s annual electricity demand will rise by 3.6 per cent, resulting in many new coal-based power plants, causing higher carbon emission. Of the 200 coal-based plants to be commissioned around the world every year till 2015, IEA estimated, many of them will be in India and China, which have the fourth-largest and the largest coal reserves in the world respectively.