Global gas consumption will increase by 53% between 2017 and 2040, the Doha-based Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) said, noting the growth will be led by non-OECD Asia, followed by the Middle East and Africa.
Natural gas will become the fastest growing fossil fuel, with an annual growth rate of 1.8%, reaching 5,395bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2040, GECF secretary-general Dr S M Hossein Adeli said.
The world energy demand is projected to grow by 1.1% per annum, rising 29% between 2017 and 2040, from 13.8 to 17.8 gigatonne of oil equivalent (Gtoe). And by 2040, fossil fuels are expected to meet 75% of the world’s energy demand, Dr Adeli said while releasing ‘GECF Global Gas Outlook 2017’ at the Tornado Tower in Doha yesterday.
The share of natural gas in the global energy mix will increase from 22% in 2016 to 26% in 2040. Coal will see a 7% decrease (from 27% to 20%), to be gradually replaced by natural gas, renewables (17%) and nuclear (6%).
Dr Adeli, an internationally acclaimed energy economist and diplomat, said concurrently the share of oil in the global energy mix will decrease by 3%, to 29% in 2040.
Consumers of natural gas benefit from its economic and environmental advantages. Therefore, demand for natural gas is expected to grow during the period under review in this outlook, as customers seek an energy source that supports economic development and addresses environmental concerns.
The demand for gas in the power sector increased from 692bcm in 2000 to 1,280bcm in 2016, with an annual average growth rate of 3.9%. This represents 36% of the gas consumed in all energy sectors in 2016. The GECF expects that consumption in the power sector will continue to increase by an average growth rate of 2.5% per annum, reaching 2,329bcm in 2040, said Dr Adeli, who is completing his term at the forum shortly.
The global electricity demand has been increasing since 2000 and is projected to peak at 41,235 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2040. Demand for electricity grew at an average rate of 3% per annum between 2000 and 2016, and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.2% between 2017 and 2040.
Urbanisation and the associated increase in residential energy demand, coupled with industrial expansion, particularly in developing economies such as China and India, are the main drivers propelling electricity demand.
In the long-run, population growth and household wealth are strong drivers for energy demand transformation. The global population will reach 9.2bn by 2040 - a 1.7bn person increase from today. This substantial population increase is paired with an 80% increase forecast in average GDP per capita relative to current levels.
These demographic and socioeconomic trends will catalyse energy demand both directly and via the industrial sector, with the number of households totalling 2.8bn by 2040 (a 33% increase from 2017). Furthermore, a growing population with more access to wealth will drive vehicle fleet expansion by 60%, with 2bn cars on the road by 2040.
Dr Adeli said global GDP is expected to grow by 3.7% over the next five years, a slight upswing from the 3.4% seen over the previous five years.
According to Dr Adeli, energy accessibility will become a top priority in the long-term. Most population and income growth will come from Asia and Africa. These two regions currently have the poorest access to energy and the largest fuel substitution potential. Biomass and waste support 60% of energy consumption in the domestic sector in developing Asia and 80% in Africa compared to less than 6% in developed countries.
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