US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that energy demand will fall by 6% in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. In absolute terms, this is the largest decline in the entire history of observations. In percentage terms, this is the sharpest decline in 70 years.
The agency called the COVID-19 pandemic the biggest shock to energy markets since World War II.
“In absolute terms, the decline is unprecedented – it is equivalent to the loss of all energy demand in India, the third largest energy consumer in the world,” the IEA report said.
These forecasts are based on the assumption that social distance measures introduced to combat the pandemic will gradually soften in the coming months. With a faster recovery in economic activity, the loss of demand may be limited to 3.8%. However, in the case of the second wave of the spread of the virus, energy demand may fall by more than 6%.
“This is a historic shock for the entire energy world. Against the backdrop of today’s unprecedented health and economic crises, the demand for almost all major fuels, especially coal, oil and gas, is plummeting,” said IEA CEO Fatih Birol.
“It is too early to determine the long-term consequences, but the energy industry that will emerge from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that was before,” he warned.
In the first quarter, energy demand fell by 3.8% in annual terms.
Demand for oil in March fell by a record 10.8 million barrels per day in annual terms. In April, according to IEA estimates, oil demand will fall by 29 million barrels per day to its lowest level in 25 years.
Demand for coal and electricity also declined, as many enterprises were closed as part of the fight against coronavirus.
Meanwhile, renewable electricity production grew by 3% in the first quarter and accounted for almost 28% of total electricity supplies, compared with 26% a year earlier.
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