Europe’s power price spike caused by surging demand, extreme weather: Report – POLITICO

High energy prices in Europe are the result of soaring electricity demand and more extreme weather, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Energy demand returned to pre-pandemic levels last year, after a decline in 2020, the organization indicated in the electricity market report released on Friday. She added that the rise could partly be attributed to renewed economic activity and severe weather, noting that April 2021 was the coldest since 2003.

The report noted that high prices resulting from rising demand caused many European countries to return to coal, resulting in an 11 percent increase in coal-fired power generation on the continent in 2021 after years of decline.

The International Energy Agency has said that the return of coal to Europe is “only temporary,” even if fossil fuel use is expected to remain flat in 2022. In the longer term, lower gas prices and an expansion of renewable energy capacity – as well as higher carbon trading prices – are expected. That leads to a decrease in the use of coal.

The organization said it expects “strong growth of renewables” between 2022 and 2024, while it expects fossil fuel use to decline by 10 percent over the same period. It also expects electricity demand in Europe to slow after 2022.

After Europe’s energy emissions surged in 2021 – up 8 percent from the previous year – the International Energy Agency said it expects to fall 24 percent by 2024 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Globally, however, energy emissions are expected to remain flat, prompting the International Energy Agency to call on policy makers to do more to push the massive policy changes needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

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