US EIA projects 28% increase in global energy use by 2040

Stefan Baumgarten


HOUSTON (ICIS)–World energy consumption will grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040, the US Energy Information Administration projects in its latest International Energy Outlook 2017 published on Thursday.

Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and especially in countries where demand is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in Asia.

Non-OECD Asia – which includes China and India – accounts for more than 60% of the world’s total increase in energy consumption from 2015 through 2040, according to EIA’s projections.

While EIA expects the non-fossil fuels, that is, renewables and nuclear, to grow faster than fossil fuels, fossil fuels will still account for more than three quarters of world energy consumption through 2040, it said.

Natural gas, which has a lower carbon intensity than coal and petroleum, is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the EIA’s outlook, with global natural gas consumption increasing by 1.4% per year.

The relatively high rate of natural gas consumption growth is attributed to abundant natural gas resources and rising production – including supplies of tight gas, shale gas and coalbed methane.

Although liquid fuels – mostly petroleum-based – remain the largest energy source, the liquids share of world marketed energy consumption is projected to fall slightly, from 33% in 2015 to 31% in 2040, the EIA said.

As oil prices rise, energy consumers are expected to turn to more energy-efficient technologies and switch away from liquid fuels where possible, it added.


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