International Energy Outlook 2019 projects nearly 50% increase in world energy usage by 2050, led by growth in Asia

International Energy Outlook 2019 projects nearly 50% increase in world energy usage by 2050, led by growth in Asia
Published: 2 October 2019 - 7 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
In its International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050.

EIA projects most of this growth will come from regions where the consumption of energy is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in non-OECD Asia. EIA’s annual long-term assessment of world energy markets includes a reference case and four core side cases, which use different assumptions for the projections in each case.

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 Linda Capuano, EIA administrator.

“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.”

IEO2019 contains energy consumption projections for 16 regions of the world. Projections for the United States in IEO2019 are consistent with those released in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019. EIA does not intend that the IEO2019 Reference is the most probable prediction of the future, but rather it is a baseline for estimating the effects of policy or technology changes. The other four cases show the effects of changing other key model assumptions.

Natural gas and petroleum product consumption is rising in Asia faster than supply is growing, potentially shifting global trade patterns and infrastructure investments

The economies in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) account for nearly all of EIA’s projected growth in petroleum product consumption between 2018 and 2050 in IEO2019, as growing populations and economic growth result in increased consumption of energy.

Non-OECD Asia accounts for about three-quarters of EIA’s projected global increase in liquid fuels consumption through 2050. India, in particular, is projected to experience rapid industrial growth and increased demand for motorised transportation.

In contrast to energy consumption growth in Asia, EIA projects in the IEO2019 that crude oil production will be concentrated in the Americas, Russia, and the Middle East. Trade and infrastructure will have to shift to accommodate the projected production and consumption changes. Given these overall economic patterns, natural gas trade and infrastructure face similar shifts.

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