EU breaks coal consumption record without Russian gas –

At the end of the year, the European Union, led by Germany and following the global trend, will definitely reach a coal consumption record. A structural recession should begin in the next three years, the IEA notes, as it revises its forecasts for renewable energy growth significantly upwards.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its data on Friday (December 16). report coal market analysis and forecast for 2022-2025. As a preamble, the agency notes that global coal consumption will increase by more than 1% between 2021 and 2022, reaching 8,000 million tons (Mt).

The most significant increases were recorded in the United States, but also and above all within the European Union (EU).

Europe without Russian gas is breaking records

Europe, heavily affected by falling gas and Russian coal flows, would be on the way “Increasing coal consumption for the second year in a row”+6% compared to 2021. Consumption will be like this “The record is reaching its limit” At 478 Mt, laments the IEA.

The IEA does not release details of consumption by EU member state for 2022. %, bringing the overall growth in the EU to 10%. “Healthy”The IEA notes almost ironically.

However, France is not exempt from responsibility. The absence of its nuclear fleet requires 15 GW of external power at all times, regardless of the source of generation, thus contributing to an overall increase in consumption within the European Union.

As a result, imports have increased significantly, especially thanks to the lifting of the Indonesian embargo. What about the 27 coal-fired power plants reopening in Germany, that’s 10 GW. “Hard to swallow” is an understatement, as Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck admits.

However, the IEA indicates an increase in consumption “must be temporary”. The agency predicts that a drop from 2024 would allow it to fall below the 371 Mt mark in 2025 and begin a structural decline.

Asia, the first consumer

The IEA notes that global coal consumption, led especially by Europe and the US, increased by 1.2% compared to 2021 to more than 8,000 Mt. Thus, it reached the record since the last summit in 2013, 8000 Mt.

The production of the world’s top three producers – China, India and Indonesia – is also expected to reach record levels. China alone accounts for half of global production, about 5% in 2021, and half of global consumption, stagnant year-over-year.

The IEA wants to ensure that: “The world is close to the peak in the use of fossil fuels”, he notes that coal is even expected to be the first to decline. However, be careful: “We’re not there yet”warns Keisuke Sadamori, head of the agency’s Energy Market Department.

Unprecedented deployment of renewable energies

At the same time, “There are many signs that the current crisis is accelerating the adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency and heat pumps”. As evidence, the expansion of renewable energies over the next five years With more than 2,400 GW of additional capacity installed between 2022 and 2027, it will be faster than the agency predicted last year.

“So that’s an 85% acceleration and almost a 30% increase over the previous five years. [35% dans l’UE] compared to forecasts in last year’s report”BEA reports.

The agency also predicts that renewable sources will account for more than 90% of global energy capacity expansion over the same period. He wants it for a reason “aggressive goals” REPowerEU plans to end the European Union’s self-imposed dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

The complementary legislative package “Fit for 55” also plans to cover 40-45% of the electricity demand of EU countries with renewable energy by 2030.

Thus, the EU is positioned as the second largest market for the expansion of renewable energy in the world after China.

Conclusion: By 2025, renewables should overtake coal as the world’s main source of electricity. In 2027, solar energy alone should be the first source of electricity in the world, the agency said.

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