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Thanks to global population growth, rising living standards and related increases in manufacturing from now until 2050, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) sees energy consumption growing faster than advancements in efficiency.
The EIA projects that global energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 2050 as a result of this increased consumption.
“Non-fossil fuel-based resources, including nuclear and renewables, produce more energy through 2050, but in most of the IEO2023 cases we examined, that growth is not sufficient to reduce global energy-related CO2 emissions under current laws and regulations,” the EIA said on Wednesday in its October 2023 International Energy Outlook.
The agency said it expected global electric-power generating capacity to increase by 50% to 100% within the timeframe, while electricity generation will increase by 30-76%, with zero-carbon technologies accounting for the build of those increases.
By 2050, the EIA projects that up to two-thirds of global electricity generation will be from a combination of renewables, led by solar and wind, and nuclear.
Coal and natural gas are poised to be responsible for 27-38% of global power generation capacity, which would represent a halving of its share from last year, Reuters quoted the EIA’s DeCarolis saying.
The EIA notes that energy security concerns are hastening the transition away from fossil fuels in some countries, but at the same time, those concerns “drive increased fossil fuel consumption” in others.
“Energy trade of fossil fuels will continue to evolve as emerging economies demand more energy and the world continues to adapt to current geopolitical events,” the EIA said.
In the Middle East and North America, natural gas production and exports are being increased to meet growing demand, while Western Europe and Asia will remain natural gas importers in all scenarios.
“Energy demand from China, India, Southeast Asia, and Africa will motivate major crude oil and natural gas producers to keep producing,” according to the report.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com