Energy-related CO2 emissions have risen by 1.7% compared to preceding year and broken a historic record of 33.1 Gt CO2 in 2018 according to International Energy Agency's report. The huge amounts of CO2 emissions in 2018 was caused by the growth of global energy demand by 2.3%, driven by global economy and high demand of heating and cooling.
According to the International Energy Agency (2019) through their publication "Global Energy and CO2 Status Report 2018", the demand of all type of fuels has risen, include fossil fuels and renewable energy. Oil and natural gas demand grew by 1.3% and 4.6% respectively. The growth of natural gas demand was the largest increase since 2010. The switch from coal to gas in power generation sector and heat production were responsible for the increasing of natural gas consumption. Coal demand was also increase by 0.7%, although it was already replaced by gas in some sector.
Nuclear and renewable energy have also risen by 3.3% and 4% according to International Energy Agency. Renewable energy contributed for almost 45% of world's electricity generation growth. Electricity as a future main energy rose by 4% in 2018.
As all types of fuels demand were grew, the energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% in 2018 and broke a record of 33.1 Gt CO2. According to International Energy Agency (2019), coal-fired power generation contributed about 30% of energy-related CO2 emissions and produced about 10.1 Gt CO2. The other use of coal also accounted for 4.5 Gt energy-related CO2 emissions. The other fossil fuels contributed for 18.6 Gt CO2.
How should we do to reduce the number of energy-related CO2 emissions? According to International Renewable Energy Agency (2019), electrification would play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions. Electricity would become a central energy carrier by 2050 and contribute about 50% share of global energy consumption as the increase of electric cars, the heating and cooling production, and the increase use of hydrogen fuel. Renewable energy and electrification would reduce about 70% of energy-related CO2 emissions. If energy efficiency is considered, it would reduce over 90% of energy-related CO2 emissions. The Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology could also play a critical role in energy transition. CCUS could reduce the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-based power generation, industrial sector and also play an important role in producing blue hydrogen as hydrogen could be clean energy for heating production, electricity production and transportation sector.
1. International Energy Agency, 2019, Global Energy and CO2 Status Report 2018 : The latest trends in energy and emissions in 2018, https://webstore.iea.org/global-energy-co2-status-report-2018.
2. International Renewable Energy Agency, 2019, People, Planet and Prosperity, https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Jul/People-Planet-and-Prosperity