Rising electricity demand is keeping coal alive

Rising electricity demand is keeping coal alive


Wind turbines in front of a coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of the new city area of Yumen, Gansu province, China, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. | Wind turbines in front of a coal-fired power plant on the outskirts of the new city area of Yumen, Gansu province, China, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

As people ventured out from their pandemic cocoons this year, they gobbled up more electricity than they did before COVID-19 shut the world down. But there still isn’t enough clean energy to meet rising demand, so coal is making a comeback. Global electricity demand climbed 5 percent above pre-pandemic levels in the first six months of 2021, according to an analysis published today by London think tank Ember. Electricity grids turned to more coal to meet that demand, and power sector carbon pollution rose 5 percent compared to the first half of 2019.

“Catapulting emissions in 2021 should send alarm bells across the world. We are not building back better, we are building back badly,” Dave Jones, global program…

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