EIA projects nearly 50% increase in world energy usage by 2050


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in it’s International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019) projects that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050 particularly in Asia, where the consumption of energy is driven by strong economic growth.

“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,” according to EIA Administrator Linda Capuano.

“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.”

The report contains energy consumption projections for 16 regions of the world, in what it says would best serve as a baseline for estimating the effects of policy or technology changes.

The study found that manufacturing centres are shifting toward Africa and South Asia, especially India, resulting in energy consumption growth in those regions. This is evident in natural gas and petroleum product consumption, rising in Asia faster than supply is growing and potentially shifting global trade patterns and infrastructure investments.

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End-use consumption is increasingly shifting toward electricity amongst falling generation costs, which along with energy consumption growth and policy work together to shift the electricity generation mix.

According to EIA’s IEO2019 projection, the industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and construction, accounts for more than 50% of global end-use energy consumption between 2018 and 2050.

Economic activity for energy-intensive manufacturing, which includes the production of iron and steel, food, paper, refined oil products, non-metallic minerals, aluminium, and basic chemicals, is increasingly concentrated in fast-growing economies of Asia.

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The paper suggests that India and China will account for more than half of global output from energy-intensive manufacturing between 2018 and 2050, which accounts for nearly all of the EIA’s projected growth in petroleum product consumption over the period.

India, in particular, is projected to experience rapid industrial growth and increased demand for transportation.

Electricity generation is projected to increase by 79% between 2018 and 2050 as demand in all end-use sectors continues to grow.

Although 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. Emerging economies with developing industrial sectors have a greater ability to increase electrification as they implement newer technologies.

 The full report is available at https://www.eia.gov/ieo/.

Smart Energy International is the official partners of the Asian Utility Week, where we’ve found first-hand support of the IEA’s findings.