Intelligence Update

Uncertain power demand figures will lead to poor decisions

Electricity generation capacity is approaching a crisis; in many parts of the world, energy storage is insufficient and, at critical times, grid stability is under threat. Many components of this looming crisis relate to national efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and stave off climate change. Yet news reports often cite demand from data centers as a specific and significant driver of the electricity crisis. These reports, in turn, drive public perceptions and government policy. But how accurate are they?

The world consumed around 27,700 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2023 and this is expected to grow by 3.4% per year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its report Electricity 2024, published in January 2024.

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