London | Running electric cars and scrapping your natural gas boiler will not lead to a reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions, and may even increase the level of pollution.
Higher electrification can lead to a peak demand for oil by 2030. But any reduction in emissions from such electric vehicles will be compensated by the increased use of power plants to charge them, according to the annual World Energy Outlook International Energy Agency report, which sets out different scenarios for future energy consumption.
To significantly reduce harmful pollution by 2040, electrification will have to be part of a comprehensive policy package aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector and improving energy efficiency, the Paris authority, which advises the peoples on energy policy, said.
Voting for global efforts to radically reduce emissions has reached a fever in recent months after the publication of the UN report, which demanded an annual investment of 4.4 trillion USD (3.3 trillion USD) of clean energy to avoid irreversible damage to the world.
It is generally considered that electrification of transport and heating systems will be a long way to meet the stringent goals of air pollution set out in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
"Electrification is a necessary part of deep decarbonisation, because it is relatively easy to decarbonize the energy sector," said Lauri Myllyvirta, senior analyst at the Greenpeace Air Pollution Unit.
"But electrification only helps when the energy sector moves quickly towards zero emissions."
Since the beginning of the century, carbon dioxide emissions from power plants have increased by an average of 2.3 percent annually, and the biggest problem is coal-fired power plants, the IEA said.
However, the growth rate is slower due to higher electricity from dynamically developing renewable energy markets and improved efficiency of fossil-fueled power plants.
Total global production of carbon dioxide increased by 1 percent last year, and the IEA expects it to reach a record level in 2018.
Chance for electrification is surprising.
With 19 percent of the total final energy consumption today, it can potentially reach 65 percent, because the electrifying policy of mobility and warmth has come into force around the world.
Renewable energy plays a role thanks to solar and wind energy, which currently provides 6% of global electricity production compared to 0.2% in 2000.
Higher than investment in oil and gas
Investments in the energy sector in 2017 reached USD 750 million, which is more than investments in oil and gas in the second straight year – the agency said.
The appearance and shape of the global energy fleet is changing rapidly.
In less than two years more than 150 gigawatts of new coal power will appear.
It is less than 160 gigawatts of new wind energy production and 230 gigawatts of solar energy.
The gas generation will overtake coal in the middle of the next decade, and solar energy will overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel before 2040.
At about the same time, the battery capacity will reach 220 gigawatts, which corresponds to today's total coal reserves in India.
The impact of Asia on global energy markets has been revealed in this year's report.
The continent is half of the global increase in natural gas consumption and a 60% increase in wind and solar power.
It will also take into account the entire growth of coal and nuclear energy, taking into account the decline in fuel use in other parts of the world.
Chinese energy companies now account for more than one eighth of world installed capacity, and six of the top ten companies come from the Asian nation.
In 2003, there were no Chinese companies in the top fifteen, according to the IEA.
"If the world is serious about achieving its climate goals, then systematically prefer investments in sustainable energy technologies," said Fatih Birol, the executive director of IEA.
"To succeed, this will require an unprecedented global political and economic effort."