World Energy Use To Double By 2050

25 September 2019

In its recently released International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050. EIA projects most of this growth will come from regions where the consumption of energy is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Asia. EIA’s annual long-term assessment of world energy markets includes a Reference case and four core side cases, which use different assumptions for the projections in each case.

“Energy consumption was greater in Asia than in any other region in 2018, and we project that consumption will almost double between 2018 and 2050, making Asia both the largest and fastest-growing region in the world for energy consumption,” said Linda Capuano, EIA administrator. “This long-term trend of Asian energy consumption to support growing economies strongly influences the extraction, refining, and transport of oil, natural gas and other fuels.”

IEO2019 contains energy consumption projections for 16 regions of the world. Projections for the UnitedStates in IEO2019 are consistent with those released in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019.

Significant findings of IEO2019 include:

-Manufacturing centers are shifting toward Africa and South Asia, especially India, resulting in energy consumption growth in those regions.

-Natural gas and petroleum product consumption is rising in Asia faster than supply is growing, potentially shifting global trade patterns and infrastructure investments.

-End-use consumption is increasingly shifting toward electricity.

-Falling generation costs, energy consumption growth, and policy work together to shift the electricity generation mix.

-Natural gas and petroleum product consumption is rising in Asia faster than supply is growing, potentially shifting global trade patterns and infrastructure investments

Although the IEO2019 projects that petroleum and other liquid fuels will remain the predominant transportation fuel, electricity use will increase in the transportation sector as more plug-in electric vehicles enter the fleet and as electricity use for rail expands.

In the industrial sector, EIA projects that emerging economies with developing industrial sectors have agreater ability to increase electrification as they implement newer technologies.

Although renewables are cost competitive compared with new fossil-fired electric generation, displacement of existing non-renewable generation requires policy incentives.

The IEO2019 report is available here.


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