U.S International Energy Agency predicts 48% growth in world energy consumption by 2040

By Sophie Chapman
The EIA projects that there will be a 48% increase in world energy consumption from 2012 (backdated) to the year 2040. Its...

The EIA projects that there will be a 48% increase in world energy consumption from 2012 (backdated) to the year 2040.

Its International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) report looked at countries with fast economic growth, particularly in Asia. The two countries that are predicted to develop at an accelerated rate and put the most strain on global resources are India and China; India due to its sudden urbanisation and China for its heavy reliance on manufacturing.

Together, India and China account for more than half the world’s predicted total increase in the period 2012-2040. The list of countries of high consumption also included the United States and Canada. Whilst much of the IEO2016 data was collected before the U.S Clean Power Plan (CPP) and is unlikely to include any potential effects of new CPP regulations, the figures would still remain very high.

More recently, the World Energy Outlook 2017 forecasts a growth in global demand for energy, increasing by 30%. Whilst this is “the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand”, the percentage is half of what was previously predicted thanks to a new drive for energy efficiency.

Energy efficient initiatives have been pushed by the EU, with a focus on energy efficient buildings, providing a platform for investment, as well as cogeneration. But high consumption still continues to be a big threat. Even if all targets for the Paris Agreement were met, the planet would still be on track for 3°C of warming, which is still a catastrophic number.

Energy consumption needs to be looked at on a global scale, and high consuming countries will need to take necessary measures to minimise environmental impact.

This infographic below gives a clear view or energy consumption vs. energy production around the world. Looking at the top 10 countries with high levels of consumption per capita, and the top 10 countries with high energy generation per capita.

The data from the infographic reveals that some of the highest producing nations are also the highest producing. With Trinidad and Tobago, Iceland, Qatar, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Oman, United States, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain listed as the biggest consumers based on MWh per capita. Out of those nations, Qatar,  Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain are also the biggest generators.

Furthermore, the International Energy Outlook 2016 also raised concerns about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, problems with energy security, and world oil prices. Even though non fossil fuels are expected to grow faster than fossil fuels in the energy sector, fossil fuel consumption will account for more than three quarters of the globe’s total in 2040.


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