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Global electricity demand expected to double by 2050

Global electricity demand will double by 2050 due to economic growth and the increasing use of renewable energy sources, requiring extensive grid expansion and technological upgrades, according to a new report

Global electricity demand is projected to double by 2050, spurred by economic growth and the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, heating and industrial processes, according to a report by DNV.

This surge in demand will predominantly be met by renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind, which are anticipated to contribute 70% of the world’s electricity by mid-century.

To accommodate this shift, there is a pressing need for substantial grid expansion and enhancements in grid management technologies.

Lithium-ion batteries are set to dominate the energy storage market, providing significantly more capacity than traditional methods such as hydropower and pumped storage.

Grid-enhancing technologies could potentially increase existing grid capacity by up to 50%, facilitated by advances in digitalisation and targeted financial incentives.

The report also highlights the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in optimising grid operations and managing renewable energy variability, albeit with a call for robust cybersecurity measures.

Ditlev Engel, Chief Executive Officer for Energy Systems at DNV, said: “There will be no transition without transmission.

“The new energy system will require data-driven solutions and policies that address all interconnections, from permitting to the integration of AI and cyber-resilience.”

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