EIA projects strong world energy consumption through 2040

World energy consumption will increase by 56% over the next 3 decades, driven by surging demand in developing countries, the US Energy Information Administration forecasts in its International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO 2013), released July 25. In its outlook, EIA said it expects the world’s real gross domestic product to rise by 3.6%/year through 2040.

EIA forecasts total world energy use to increase to 630 quadrillion btu (quads) in 2020 and to 820 quads in 2040, from 524 quads in 2010. Energy consumption in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is expected to increase by 90%, bolstered by strong, long-term economic growth. For countries within the OECD, this increase is expected to be 17% because of the slow pace of economic growth.

EIA forecasts fossil fuels to continue supplying nearly 80% of the world’s energy demand through 2040. The liquid share of world marketed energy consumption—although expected to remain the largest energy source—is expected to fall to 28% in 2040 from 34% in 2010. Renewable energy and nuclear power are expected to remain the fastest-growing energy sources, each rising by 2.5%/year over the forecast period.

Over the course of the IEO 2013 projection, world consumption of petroleum and other liquids is expected to rise to 115 million b/d in 2040 from 87 million b/d in 2010. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are expected to maintain a 39-43% share of total world liquids production through 2040.

World natural gas consumption is expected to climb to 185 tcf in 2040 from 113 tcf in 2010. The industrial and electric power sectors together account for 77% of the total projected world increase in gas consumption. The IEO 2013 reference cases projects a substantial increase in gas production, especially in the US, Canada, and China.

In the IEO 2013 reference case, which does not include prospective greenhouse gas reduction policies, coal remains the world’s second-largest energy source. World coal consumption is expected to rise at an average rate of 1.3%/year to 180 quads in 2020 and 220 quads in 2040, from 147 quads in 2010. Consumption of coal is expected to grow faster than that of petroleum until after 2030, mostly due to increases in China’s coal consumption and lower oil demand in OECD countries.

EIA said that given current policies and regulations limiting fossil fuel use, worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to increase 46% by 2040, reaching 45 billion tonnes in 2040.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

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