the IEO2010 Reference case. Electricity supplies an increasing share of the world’s total energy demand and grows faster than liquid fuels, natural gas, and coal in all end-use sectors excepttransportation. From 1990 to 2007, growth in net electricity generation outpaced the growth in total energy consumption (1.9 percent per year and 1.3 percent per year, respectively), and the growth in demandfor electricity continues to outpace growth in total energy use throughout the projection period (Figure 67).
World net electricity generation increases by 87 percent in the Reference case, from18.8 trillion kilowatthours in 2007 to 25.0 trillion kilowatthours in 2020 and 35.2 trillion kilowatthours in 2035 (Table 11). Although the recent economic downturn slowed the rate of growth inelectricity use in 2008 and resulted in no change in electricity use in 2009, the Reference case projection expects growth in electricity use to return to pre-recession trend rates by 2015.
The impact of therecession on electricity consumption has been felt most keenly in the industrial sector. Demand in the building sector (the residential and commercial sectors) is less sensitive to changing economicconditions than it is in the industrial sector, because people generally continue to consume electricity for space heating and cooling, cooking, refrigeration, lighting, and water heating, even in arecession. In general, projected growth in OECD countries, where electricity markets are well established and consumption patterns are mature, is slower than in non-OECD countries, where a large amountof demand goes unmet at present. The electrification of historically off-grid areas plays a strong role in projected growth trends. The International Energy Agency estimates that 22 percent of theworld’s population did not have access to electricity in 2008—a total of about 1.5 billion people . Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa is worst off: more than 71 percent of the population currently...
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