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    EIA Sees 50% Energy Use Growth by 2050


Asian markets outside OECD will account for bulk of consumption growth

by: Dale Lunan

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EIA Sees 50% Energy Use Growth by 2050

Global energy use will grow by 50% by 2050, with most of the increase coming from non-OECD Asian markets, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), released September 24.

Globally, world energy consumption in the reference case increases to about 900 quadrillion Btu in 2050 from just over 600 quadrillion Btu in 2018.

“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,” EIA administrator Linda Capuano said. “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 global regions and includes a reference case and four core side cases. The reference case, the EIA said, is not intended to be its most probable prediction of future consumption, but rather a baseline for estimating the effects of policy or technology changes, which are then presented in the side cases.

The strong growth in consumption among non-OECD Asian countries, the outlook says, is driven by strong economic growth in India, China, in other Asian markets and in Africa, which together, the EIA projects, could see energy consumption grow at an annual rate of 4% or more during the outlook period. These regions are home to about two-thirds of the world’s population.

Overall, energy consumption in non-OECD countries is projected to grow by 70% in the reference case, compared to just 15% in OECD countries. The industrial sector accounts for more than half of the non-OECD growth, followed by the transport, residential and commercial sectors.

Net electricity generation in the reference case increases to nearly 45 trillion kWh in 2050 from 20 trillion kWh in 2010 and just over 25 kWh in 2020, with the share of renewables climbing to nearly 50% in 2050 from about 20% in 2010. The share of natural gas in power generation remains fairly steady, growing at 1.5%/year compared to the 3.6%/year growth exhibited by renewables.

Globally, renewables will be the fastest growing primary energy source between 2018 and 2050, the EIA says, increasing to more than 250 quadrillion Btu from just over 50 quadrillion Btu. Natural gas will show the second greatest growth, increasing to 200 quadrillion Btu from about 120 quadrillion Btu in 2018.

But the share of natural gas in the global energy mix will be virtually unchanged in 2050 from 2018, the outlook shows.

The full IEO2019 can be downloaded here.