The International Energy Agency (IEA) publication World Energy Outlook 2017 projects that by 2040 the world will need 30 per cent more energy than we use today to meet the energy needs of a growing, more urbanized world. This includes an increase in oil demand of 10 per cent and natural gas demand of 45 per cent. The forecast is part of a “New Policies Scenario" that includes countries enacting lower-carbon policies in line with commitments made at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris in December 2015.
Other key findings from this forecast include:
- 30 per cent of total energy demand growth is expected to come from India; another two-thirds from Southeast Asia;
- Natural gas will supply 25 per cent of global energy demand by 2040;
- Oil will supply 27 per cent of global energy demand by 2040;
- Renewable energy sources will supply 40 per cent of the world's electricity generation by 2040;
- While the use of renewable energy sources will increase significantly, oil and natural gas remain key to the global energy mix, supplying more than half of the world's energy needs;
- Even with the rise of the electric vehicle, the IEA says the end of the era of oil is not near. The world will still need more oil for trucks, for shipping, for aviation and for a growing petrochemical industry around the world.
The IEA notes that the global energy scene is in a state of flux stemming from rapid deployment of renewable energy technologies; the growing importance of electricity as an energy source; changes in China’s economy and energy policy to move consumption away from coal; and the ongoing surge in shale, tight oil, and natural gas production in the United States (U.S.).
The IEA is an international organization founded in 1974 that provides authoritative analysis on issues related to energy, including energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and global engagement. The IEA's annually published World Energy Outlook is widely used and referenced.