US agency projects 40% rise in oil demand by 2050

A US government agency projects that global consumption of petroleum will increase nearly 40 percent by 2050, the target year that many developed nations have pledged to go carbon neutral.

On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration released the International Energy Outlook 2021, looking at the energy trend through 2050. This is the year the United States, EU member nations, and Japan are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

The report says that global consumption of solar, wind, and other renewables is projected to grow over the next 30 years to 2.6 times the level of 2020. Their share in energy consumption will rise from 15 percent to 27 percent.

The report also projects, however, that global consumption of fossil fuels will increase through 2050, with petroleum consumption likely to increase by nearly 40 percent, and natural gas by over 30 percent.

These increases will come to support the growing population and economic expansion in emerging economies.

As a result, the ratios of petroleum and natural gas within global energy consumption are projected to drop only marginally. Petroleum will drop from 30 percent to 28 percent and natural gas from 24 percent to 22 percent.

The report says that electric vehicle sales will grow through 2050, resulting in the number of gasoline-driven vehicles to peak in 2023 for developed countries, and then in 2038 globally.

The report indicates that while renewables will be the primary source for new electricity generation, oil and natural gas production will continue to grow, mainly to provide a cheaper source of energy to support increasing energy consumption in developing Asian economies.