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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Oil Demand Set To Grow Even After 2050, Energy Expert Says

Even after 2050, global oil demand is set to continue to rise because renewables cannot entirely replace fossil fuels, energy markets expert Anas Alhajji said during a recent energy conference hosted by Nigeria.

 “The impact of climate change policies on oil demand are highly exaggerated – The impact is mostly on demand growth, not on demand itself,” Alhajji said during a keynote speech at the event focused on the impact of the energy transition on oil-dependent economies, as carried by Nigerian outlet Energy Frontier.

The world will need all energy sources even in three decades, the expert said. While technology will be a key enabler of the energy transition, it has its limits, Alhajji noted.

“African countries can reduce their carbon footprint by focusing on energy efficiency and the low hanging fruits, save oil & gas for exports or value added industries and place solar and wind projects strategically.”

Many analysts and forecasters expect global oil demand to peak at some point in the 2030s, or even earlier.

Last year, even OPEC put a timeline to peak oil demand. In its World Oil Outlook 2020 in October, OPEC said it expects global oil demand to exceed the pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and grow steadily until the late 2030s, when it will begin to plateau, in a major shift in its forecast that put a timeline to peak oil demand.

This year, the energy transition and the fight against climate change have become even more topical than during last year’s crisis. Analysts and forecasters are trying to understand and predict how the world’s still significant need of oil would reconcile with the net-zero targets that many countries have already set for 2050, or 2060 in China’s case.

Global primary energy demand is set to only grow in the future.

This higher energy consumption will need greater efforts to reach net-zero emissions, especially considering the fact even surging renewables capacity is unable to meet rising electricity demand. That’s an assessment of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which suggested in the bombshell report in May that net-zero 2050 wouldn’t need any new oil, gas, and coal investments after 2021.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 20 2021 said:
    Global oil demand will continue to grow well into the future as long as the global economy continues to run on oil and gas. The demand growth will be underpinned by rising global population projected to grow from 7.9 billion currently to 9.7 billion by 2050 and a global economy projected to rise from $81 trillion currently to $243 trillion by 2050. And while EVs will very slightly decelerate the rate of demand growth, they will never arrest it.

    There will neither be a post-oil era nor a peak oil demand either. Moreover, the notions of net-zero emissions and imminent global energy transition are illusions. Renewables on their own can't satisfy global energy demand.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Bill Simpson on September 21 2021 said:
    I am not sure about growing in 2050, but it certainly will not be shrinking very rapidly before then.
    Hydrogen fuel cells and batteries will be coming on fast during the second half of the century.

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