Energy demand: the Reference Case


Total primary energy demand is forecast to increase by 40% in the period to 2040, with the bulk of the increase from Developing countries

On a global level, total primary energy demand is forecast to increase by 40% in the period to 2040 to reach 382 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d). On a regional basis, energy demand in Developing countries is expected to grow at an average rate of 2.1% p.a. over the forecast period 2014–2040. This is in sharp contrast with the average 0.1% p.a. growth projected for OECD regions and the 0.6% for Eurasia. This variation is a reflection of the relatively higher economic growth forecast for Developing countries combined with higher population growth rates and increased urbanization.

Energy mix continues to see fast growth for renewables, but 53% of the world’s energy needs will still be satisfied by oil and gas in 2040

Currently, fossil fuels – namely, oil, gas and coal – account for 81% of the global energy mix. By 2040, fossil fuels will maintain their importance in the global energy mix, although with a lower share of 77% of total energy demand. Combined, oil and gas are forecast to satisfy 53% of the energy needs in 2040, similar to current levels. With regard to non-fossil fuels, the largest gains in terms of the share in the total energy mix are expected in ‘Other renewables’ (+3.4 percentage points) and nuclear (+1.3 percentage points).

The shift away from coal towards gas and renewables in power generation is not surprising as policymakers are increasingly engaged in climate change mitigation initiatives. In absolute terms, the majority of the demand growth will come from gas (+42.3 mboe/d) followed by oil (+14.7 mboe/d), other renewables (+14.5 mboe/d), coal (+13.8 mboe/d) and nuclear (+10.2 mboe/d).

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