World Energy Demand Forecost

By Uche Okoro

What would we need to power in the future? How much power would we need? Who would need power? What industries would need energy the most?

World energy demand is deemed to rise by as much as 3,743 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), worldwide from 2017 to 2040.

The tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy used to define the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil.

1 mtoe = 11.63 Terawatt-hours (TWh) = 41868 terajoules (TJ)

While developed economies are on the path to reduce their demand by as much as 6 per cent, developing countries in Asia and Africa would see their combined demands rise.

This increase in developing countries’ energy demand would come from Asia as India is set to double its present energy demand, while China and South East Asia would grow by 26% and 67% respectively. These figures would make the continent the largest energy consumer in the world, as 46% of the total 18,000 mtoe of energy would be required there. Africa is set to increase its energy demand by 52%.

Despite the renewable revolution, hydrocarbon sources would remain the largest energy supplier by 2040, with natural gas leading the pack with 43% growth in demand. While hydrocarbon total demand may increase, its share in the total energy mix would decline as more renewable sources are adopted globally.

World Energy Demand Forecast Source: International Energy Agency (Nextier Analysis)

Global Electricity Demand Forecast

IEA forecasts show that electricity would be the largest energy type that would see the most demand growth. In Africa, power generation is expected to increase by as much as 140%. The Middle East and South America would also see high demand growth by as much as 96% and 84% respectively.  Coal generation is still predicted to be the largest contributor to the global electricity supply even though growth would be limited. Natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar would lead growth as they are all predicted to grow by as much as 55%, 332%, and 796% respectively.

World Electricity Demand Forecast Source: International Energy Agency (Nextier Analysis)

Solar PV is expected to have the second-highest installed capacity by 2040, behind natural gas. This could be higher with increasing cheaper solar panels. Wind generation capacity is also expected to increase to about 1,707GW.

Installed Electricity Generation Capacity Source: International Energy Agency (Nextier Analysis)

This increasing demand for energy would also increase global carbon emissions levels by 10%.

While energy is essential for life, our demand for energy should also take into account climate goals, and ensure that more sustainable policies aimed at increasing the role renewable energy would play in future energy developments; from transportation to electricity and heating needs are enacted. We should not just demand energy, but demand sustainable and clean energy!

Data Sourced from International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook