China’s power generation continues to grow steadily despite the global crisis
Slight decrease in global power generation in 2020, after a slowdown in 2019
The lower electricity demand due to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 led to a 0.6% decrease in power generation, which had already slowed down in 2019 over milder weather conditions and slower economic growth, contrasting with an average 3%/year increase over the 2000-2018 period. Coal-fired power generation (35% of the global power mix in 2020) and nuclear generation decreased by 4.5% and 3.5%, respectively, partly offset by an increase in wind (+12%), solar (+20%) and hydropower (+2%) generation. Power generation grew by 3.7% in China thanks to a dynamic electricity demand, an 18% growth in renewable power generation and a steady coal-fired power generation. The lower electricity demand slashed power generation by 3.1% in the USA, where coal-fired power generation collapsed due to the rising gas-fired and renewable production. In the EU as well, the economic crisis led to a 4.6% drop in power generation, especially from coal and lignite and nuclear, that was partly offset by a higher renewable production. Power generation also declined in India (-2.5%), for the first time in 50 years, as the country was hit by the global downturn and coal-fired power generation contracted by nearly 5%. It also decreased in Japan, South Korea, Russia, Latin America (especially in Brazil and Mexico), and in Africa (despite a rising generation in Nigeria). It remained stable in the Middle East (higher production in Iran offset by declines in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries).
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According to Brazil's National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), the installed wind capacity in Brazil has just reached the 20 GW milestone, from 17.1 GW at the end of 2020. More than 750 wind parks are operational in Brazil, and 90% of the installed wind capacity is located in the Northeast region.
According to the Ministry of Power, India has reduced its peak power deficit from 16.6% in financial year (FY) 2007-2008 to 0.4% in FY 2020-2021 (-16.2% points). Indeed, the country's power peak deficit fell from 18 GW in 2007-2008 to 0.8 GW in 2020-2021. Since 2008, India has installed over 240 GW of power capacity, including 139 GW of coal (58% of the total), 37 GW of solar (16%), and 28 GW of wind (12%). Over the same period, the country's electrification rate increased from 72% to 95% (+23% points).
According to Statistics Norway, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country declined by 3.5% in 2020 to 49.3 MtCO2eq (-1.8 MtCO2eq) thanks to a reduction in emissions from oil and gas extraction (-5%, i.e. -722 ktCO2eq), in air traffic (-32%, i.e. -356 ktCO2eq), and in road transport (-4%, i.e. -346 ktCO2eq, due to travel restriction, home office and the increasing share of electric cars and rechargeable hybrid vehicles). Overall, Norway’s GHG emissions in 2020 stood 4.2% below their 1990 levels.
According to Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency, the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 3.6% in 2020 to 58 MtCO2eq. The decrease in emissions is reflected in most sectors with the exception of increases in residential, agriculture and public services. In the energy sector, GHG emissions fell by 7.9% (-0.74 MtCO2eq), as peat-fired power generation halved and renewable power generation increased noticeably (+15% from wind), covering 42% of the Irish power mix. Residential emissions grew by 9% (+0.59 MtCO2eq), as a result of colder temperatures, historic low oil prices (impacting heating choices), and home working. Emissions from transports fell by nearly 16% (-1.9 MtCO2eq) due to transport restrictions. Overall, Ireland's GHG emissions are still only 7% below 2005 level. The country committed under an EU agreement known as the Effort Sharing Decision to cut GHG emissions by 20% between 2005 and 2020.