World : ‘Energy transition underway’ as global emissions flatline

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions remained static in 2019 with more renewables and nuclear output, and advanced economies switching from coal to natural gas.

Global energy-related emissions were unchanged at 33.3 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2019 after two years of growth, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This was largely due to power sector emissions dropping by 170 million tonnes (Mt), or 1.2% from 2018 levels. 

Milder weather in several countries and slower economic growth in some emerging markets also contributed.

The IEA said the expanding role of renewables — mainly wind and solar PV — was a key reason for the decline in power sector emissions, alongside the move from coal to gas and higher nuclear power generation.

However, preventing further growth in global emissions was only achieved by significant decreases in developed countries offsetting continued growth elsewhere, the IEA noted.

Its director general Fatih Birol said the figures were proof that ambitious policies and investments could help to limit emissions.


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Smart Grid Bulletin September 2020

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