The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020) report this week, focusing on how market conditions might affect electricity markets in three high-growth regions: Asia, India, and Africa. How these regions choose to meet growing electricity demand will have significant implications for international energy trade and economic development.
“Our 2020 release of the International Energy Outlook expands on last year’s work and explores alternative cases that consider the geographic regions where growth in energy use is likely to be strongest over the next 30 years,” said EIA Administrator Dr. Linda Capuano. “The cases we consider increase regional granularity in India and Africa, and consider fuel competition in Asia, resulting in more nuanced insights into the dynamics of energy use in these areas.”
As energy use grows in Asia, some cases indicate more than 50% of electricity could be generated from renewables by 2050
IEO2020 features cases that consider differing natural gas prices and renewable energy capital costs in Asia, showing how these costs could shift the fuel mix for generating electricity in the region either further toward fossil fuels or toward renewables. These issues are important because EIA projects that electricity use in Asia will more than double between 2019 and 2050, driven by economic growth and rising incomes.
Africa could meet its electricity growth needs in different ways depending on whether development comes as an expansion of the central grid or as off-grid systems
Falling costs for solar photovoltaic installations and increased use of off-grid distribution systems have opened up technology options for the development of electricity infrastructure in Africa. Africa’s power generation mix could shift away from current coal-fired and natural gas-fired technologies used in the existing central grid toward off-grid resources, including extensive use of non-hydroelectric renewable generation sources.
Transmission infrastructure affects options available to change the future fuel mix for electric generation in India
Cases presented in IEO2020 demonstrate the ways that electricity grid interconnections influence fuel choices for electricity generation in India. Reliance on a unified grid that can transmit electricity across regions shows a significant increase in the share of renewables and a decrease in the share of coal-fired generation between 2019 and 2050. More limited movement of electricity favours existing in-region generation, which is mostly fossil fuels.
Source : Energy Global