Global energy consumption and CO2 emissions rose to record levels in 2018, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). And one of the major contributors to the increase was HVAC&R.
According to the IEA, energy consumption worldwide grew by 2.3 per cent in 2018, nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010. This was driven by strong economic growth, as well as higher heating and cooling needs.
“Weather conditions last year were responsible for almost one-fifth of the increase in global energy demand as average winter and summer temperatures in some regions approached or exceeded historical records,” says the IEA in its report.
“Cold snaps drove demand for heating and, more significantly, hotter summer temperatures pushed up demand for cooling.”
This was especially felt in the US, where more extreme weather was responsible for around half of the increase in energy demand in 2018.
Coal continues to be the largest source of energy globally, but some of the world’s largest consumers – including the US and China – made big moves towards gas. Overall, fossil fuels met nearly 70 per cent of the growth in energy consumption.
Renewables grew by 4 per cent and accounted for almost one-quarter of global energy demand growth. Renewables-based electricity generation increased at its fastest pace this decade, thanks mainly to more solar PV, hydropower, and wind power, especially in China and Europe.
Energy-related CO2 emissions also reached a record high in 2018. Globally they grew by 1.7 per cent to 33.1Gt CO2. It was the highest rate of growth since 2013, and 70 per cent higher than the average increase since 2010.
The global average annual concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere averaged 407.4ppm in 2018, up 2.4ppm since 2017.