Global energy consumption to increase 50% by 2050
World energy consumption is expected to rise nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050, according to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The majority of this growth will come from regions with strong economic growth, especially in Asia.
This projection is part of EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2019, which was released Tuesday (Sept. 24).
“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 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.”
Following are other projections noted in the International Energy Outlook: Manufacturing centers are expected to shift toward Africa and South Asia, especially India, and this will lead to energy consumption growth in those regions. Natural gas and petroleum product consumption are expected to rise in Asia more quickly than supply, and this could lead to shifting global trade patterns and infrastructure investments. End-use consumption is expected to shift toward electricity. Falling generation costs, energy consumption growth and policy are projected to impact the electricity generation mix.
The industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing, agriculture and construction, is projected to account for more than 50% of global end-use energy consumption between 2018 and 2050. Economic activity for manufacturing that uses a significant amount of energy, including the production of iron and steel, food, paper, refined oil products, non-metallic minerals, aluminum and basic chemicals, is expected to be concentrated in fast-growing economies of Asia. India and China are expected to account for more than half of the global output from these manufacturers between 2018 and 2050.
The economies in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are expected to comprise nearly all of the expected growth in petroleum product consumption between 2018 and 2050. The non-OECD countries in Asia are projected to account for about 75% of the global rise in liquids fuels consumption through 2050. Crude oil production is expected to be concentrated in the Americas, Russia and the Middle East.
Electricity generation is projected to rise by 79% between 2018 and 2050 as a result of increased electricity consumption in all end-use sectors. Electricity should remain the main source of energy that buildings consume. Electricity use is projected to rise in the residential and commercial sectors as populations rise, commercial services expand and standards of living increase in non-OECD economies. This should lead to increased demand for appliances and personal equipment. Electricity use is expected to rise in the transportation sector as more plug-in electric vehicles start operating and as rail transportation expands the use of electricity.
OECD consumption of electricity is projected to rise 1% annually between 2018 and 2050, while non-OECD consumption is expected to increase by 2.3% per year.