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EIA: Population Growth Means High-Rising Energy Consumption

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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  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 11 2023 said:
    Translated into plain English, this means the following:

    1- Oil and natural gas will continue to satisfy the energy needs of a rising world population and a growing economy well into the future.

    2- Global energy consumption will continue to grow faster than advancements in efficiency thus signalling market tightness and possible shortages.

    3- Fossil fuels’ emissions will increase by 2050 and while non-fossil fuels including renewables and nuclear will produce more energy by 2050, that growth is not sufficient to reduce global CO2 emissions. In a nutshell, the notions of energy transition and net-zero emissions are illusions. They will never be achieved by 2050 or 2100 or ever.

    4- By 2050 up to two-thirds of global electricity generation will be from a combination of renewables and nuclear with coal and natural gas accounting for 27-38% compared with 58% in 2022 according to EIA.

    5- Energy demand from the Asia Pacific-region, India and Africa will underpin growing oil and gas production well into the future.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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