Low-emissions technologies — renewables and nuclear — will account for almost half of the world’s electricity generation by 2026, up from a share of just under 40% in 2023, according to the International Energy Agency’s forecasts.
Renewables alone will comprise more than one-third of total electricity generation by early 2025, overtaking coal, the agency says in a new report.
And by 2025, global nuclear power generation will reach an all-time high as output from France recovers, several plants in Japan come back online, and new reactors begin commercial operations in China, India, South Korea and Europe.
While global electricity demand growth is accelerating as populations grow and cars, heating and industrial processes go electric, all that extra demand will be covered by new low-carbon power facilities, the IEA predicts.
This means the power sector’s emissions should slip into a long-term structural decline, with global emissions from electricity generation expected to fall by 2.4% in 2024.
“The power sector currently produces more CO2 emissions than any other in the world economy, so it’s encouraging that the rapid growth of renewables and a steady expansion of nuclear power are together on course to match all the increase in global electricity demand over the next three years,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement.
“This is largely thanks to the huge momentum behind renewables, with ever cheaper solar leading the way, and support from the important comeback of nuclear power. While more progress is needed, and fast, these are very promising trends.”