With clean-energy options growing rapidly, fossil fuels are being displaced. And while many predict fossil-fuel usage will soon peak, many believe that may already have occurred.
- As war between Russia and Ukraine continues, the International Energy Agency (IEA) gathers to discuss the climate implications.
- Restricted supply of oil coming from Russia has led to high energy prices and a shift back to energy sources such as coal and clean energy.
- Despite rising demand for energy, the IEA analysts believe that the world will soon reach peak demands for fossil fuels.
- And some believe that we have already reached the peak.
Why it’s news
Analysts predict that coal demand will peak within this decade while natural gas will peak by the end of the decade. Oil is expected to peak by the 2030s.
As more countries commit to climate-change policies, the demand for fossil fuels may decline at a faster pace.
In fact, emissions from fossil fuels may have peaked already. Current emissions are around 14 billion tons and are expected to drop to 10 billion tons within the next 30 years, Bloomberg reports.
If the analysts’ predictions hold true, renewable energy would be able to fill nearly all energy needs. Wind and solar are still the predominant sources of renewable energy.
Around 700 terawatt-hours of power are expected to come from renewable energy this year—the majority coming from wind and solar. The renewable sources are beginning to contribute more to global energy usage while non-renewable options are growing at a slower pace.
This year, wind and solar contributed 1.6% of electricity usage from 2021. By next year, renewables will produce 2.3% of the same level of energy needed in 2021.
Backing up a bit
Though changing to renewable energy could take time, the current energy shortages could potentially incentivize a faster change.
The IEA report was generally positive looking toward the future of energy—noting that the world is establishing alternatives to fossil fuels.
Investment in clean energy will reach more than $2 trillion before 2030, but the report states that double that investment is needed to reach climate goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement, the Associated Press reports
“Clean energy investment is delivering. It is the reason why the world is on track to peak CO2 emissions. But that’s only the first step. We need big emissions cuts, not a plateau,” says environmental think-tank energy analyst Dave Jones.