PARIS (dpa-AFX) - The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects global demand for electricity to increase by only slightly less than two percent this year. The reasons for this are the ongoing economic slowdown and the effects of the energy crisis in many industrialized countries, the IEA said in its electricity market report in Paris on Wednesday. Electricity demand in the U.S., Japan and Europe is expected to fall in 2023. Electricity consumption in the EU is expected to fall to levels last seen in 2002. Energy-intensive industries in the EU have not yet recovered from last year's production slump, it said.

However, with an improved outlook for the global economy, demand for electricity is expected to rise again next year by 3.3 percent. Driving the increase in electricity demand is electrification in an effort to reduce climate-damaging emissions, according to the IEA report. In addition, more air conditioning is being used due to rising temperatures, which is driving up electricity consumption. In addition, there would be robust demand growth in emerging and developing economies.

Even though demand is growing in many regions, the strong deployment of renewables globally means they are on track to meet all of the additional growth in global electricity demand over the next two years, the IEA analysis found. By 2024, renewables would account for more than one-third of global electricity generation, it said. Depending on weather conditions, 2024 could become the first year in which more electricity is generated globally from renewables than from coal.

At the same time, electricity generation from fossil fuels is expected to decline over the next two years, the IEA said. Electricity generation from oil is forecast to drop significantly, while electricity generation from coal will decline slightly in 2023 and 2024, following a 1.7 percent increase in 2022.

"Global demand for electricity will increase sharply in the coming years," said IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security Keisuke Sadamori. The share of renewable energy in electricity generation is expected to increase, leading to a decline in fossil fuel use, he said. "Now is the time for policymakers and the private sector to build on this momentum to ensure that power sector emissions fall sustainably."

In another sign that the energy transition is taking hold, the IEA now expects fossil fuel power generation to decline in four of the six years between 2019 and 2024. This indicates that the world is rapidly moving toward a tipping point where global electricity generation from fossil fuels will increasingly be replaced by electricity from clean energy sources, the report says./evs/DP/zb