FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2017
Emerging Asian economies drive the increase in world energy use from 2015 to 2040
World energy consumption is projected to increase by 28% by 2040, according to the International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017), released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most of the world’s growth in energy demand is projected to take place in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). China and the other non-OECD Asia nations alone account for more than 60% of the projected increase in world energy demand (Figure 1).
"Transportation energy use rises by nearly 30%, with almost all of the growth coming from non-OECD countries, as personal incomes rise and energy markets in many of these nations' rapidly growing economies become further integrated into global supply chains," said Ian Mead, EIA's Assistant Administrator for Energy Analysis.
Some key findings:
World energy use increases from 575 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2015 to 736 quadrillion Btu in 2040. The increase mainly occurs in the emerging economies of the world, driven by long-term growth in economies and populations.
In the IEO2017 Reference case, world net electricity generation increases by 45% from 23.4 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2015 to 29.4 trillion kWh in 2030 and to 34.0 trillion kWh in 2040. Electricity is the world’s fastest growing form of end-use energy consumption, as it has been for decades, and power systems continue to evolve from isolated, noncompetitive grids to integrated and even international markets.
IEO2017 projects renewables as the world's fastest-growing energy source—increasing by 2.3% per year through 2040—but fossil fuels still account for more than three-quarters of world energy use (Figure 2). Although petroleum and other liquids remain the largest source of energy, the liquid fuels share of world marketed energy consumption falls from 33% in 2012 to 31% in 2040.
Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the outlook. Global natural gas consumption grows by 1.4% per year from 2015 to 2040. Abundant natural gas resources and rising production—including supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane—contribute to the strong competitive position of natural gas.
Compared with the strong growth in coal use in the 2000s, worldwide coal use remains essentially flat through 2040. After 2030, natural gas surpasses coal to become the world's second-largest energy source after liquid fuels (Figure 2).
Other IEO2017 highlights:
By 2040, renewables provide the largest share (34%) of world electricity generation—a substantial change from 2015, when coal provided 40% of all power generation. Hydropower and wind are the two largest contributors to the increase in world electricity generation from renewable energy sources, together accounting for two-thirds of the total increase from 2015 to 2040. Hydropower and wind generation each increase by about 1.8 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) in the IEO2017 Reference case.
The top three coal-consuming countries—China, the United States, and India—together account for more than 65% of the world's coal use through 2040. China alone currently accounts for slightly more than half of the world's coal consumption, but a slowing economy and plans to implement policies to address air pollution and climate change mean that coal use in China will decline over the projection period. Of the world's three largest coal consumers, only India is projected to increase coal use through 2040.
Worldwide electricity generation from nuclear power increases from 2.5 trillion kWh in 2012 to 3.7 trillion kWh in 2040, as concerns about energy security and greenhouse gas emissions support the development of new nuclear generating capacity, but reactor retirements and opposition from local populations keep nuclear from expanding in many parts of the world. Virtually all of the projected net growth in the world's installed nuclear capacity occurs in non-OECD countries, led by China's addition of 111 gigawatts of nuclear capacity from 2015 to 2040.
The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption, using more than half of global delivered energy in 2040.
Worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 34 billion metric tons in 2012 to 39 billion metric tons in 2040, a 16% increase from 2015 to 2040. Much of the growth in emissions is attributed to non-OECD nations, many of which continue to rely on fossil fuels to meet the growth in energy demand.
IEO2017 is available at http://www.eia.gov/ieo/.The product described in this press release was prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. By law, EIA's data, analysis, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the United States Government. The views in the product and press release therefore should not be construed as representing those of the Department of Energy or other federal agencies.
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In 2021, the makeup of renewables has also changed drastically. Technologies such as solar and wind are no longer novel, as is the idea of blending vegetable oils into road fuels or switching to electric-based vehicles. Such ideas are now entrenched and are not considered enough to shift the world into a carbon neutral future. The new wave of renewables focus on converting by-products from other carbon-intensive industries into usable fuels. Research into such technologies has been pioneered in universities and start-ups over the past two decades, but the impetus of global climate goals is now seeing an incredible amount of money being poured into them as oil & gas giants seek to rebalance their portfolios away from pure hydrocarbons with a goal of balancing their total carbon emissions in aggregate to zero.
Traditionally, the European players have led this drive. Which is unsurprising, since the EU has been the most driven in this acceleration. But even the US giants are following suit. In the past year, Chevron has poured an incredible amount of cash and effort in pioneering renewables. Its motives might be less than altruistic, shareholders across America have been particularly vocal about driving this transformation but the net results will be positive for all.
Chevron’s recent efforts have focused on biomethane, through a partnership with global waste solutions company Brightmark. The joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings operations focused on convert cow manure to renewable natural gas, which are then converted into fuel for long-haul trucks, the very kind that criss-cross the vast highways of the US delivering goods from coast to coast. Launched in October 2020, the joint venture was extended and expanded in August, now encompassing 38 biomethane plants in seven US states, with first production set to begin later in 2021. The targeting of livestock waste is particularly crucial: methane emissions from farms is the second-largest contributor to climate change emissions globally. The technology to capture methane from manure (as well as landfills and other waste sites) has existed for years, but has only recently been commercialised to convert methane emissions from decomposition to useful products.
This is an arena that another supermajor – BP – has also made a recent significant investment in. BP signed a 15-year agreement with CleanBay Renewables to purchase the latter’s renewable natural gas (RNG) to be mixed and sold into select US state markets. Beginning with California, which has one of the strictest fuel standards in the US and provides incentives under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce carbon intensity – CleanBay’s RNG is derived not from cows, but from poultry. Chicken manure, feathers and bedding are all converted into RNG using anaerobic digesters, providing a carbon intensity that is said to be 95% less than the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of pure fossil fuels and non-conversion of poultry waste matter. BP also has an agreement with Gevo Inc in Iowa to purchase RNG produced from cow manure, also for sale in California.
But road fuels aren’t the only avenue for large-scale embracing of renewables. It could take to the air, literally. After all, the global commercial airline fleet currently stands at over 25,000 aircraft and is expected to grow to over 35,000 by 2030. All those planes will burn a lot of fuel. With the airline industry embracing the idea of AAF (or Alternative Aviation Fuels), developments into renewable jet fuels have been striking, from traditional bio-sources such as palm or soybean oil to advanced organic matter conversion from agricultural waste and manure. Chevron, again, has signed a landmark deal to advance the commercialisation. Together with Delta Airlines and Google, Chevron will be producing a batch of sustainable aviation fuel at its El Segundo refinery in California. Delta will then use the fuel, with Google providing a cloud-based framework to analyse the data. That data will then allow for a transparent analysis into carbon emissions from the use of sustainable aviation fuel, as benchmark for others to follow. The analysis should be able to confirm whether or not the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s estimates that renewable jet fuel can reduce lifecycle carbon intensity by up to 80%. And to strengthen the measure, Delta has pledged to replace 10% of its jet fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
In a parallel, but no less pioneering lane, France’s TotalEnergies has announced that it is developing a 100% renewable fuel for use in motorsports, using bioethanol sourced from residues produced by the French wine industry (among others) at its Feyzin refinery in Lyon. This, it believes, will reduce the racing sports’ carbon emissions by an immediate 65%. The fuel, named Excellium Racing 100, is set to debut at the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022 race.
But Chevron isn’t done yet. It is also falling back on the long-standing use of vegetable oils blended into US transport fuels by signing a wide-ranging agreement with commodity giant Bunge. Called a ‘farmer-to-fuelling station’ solution, Bunge’s soybean processing facilities in Louisiana and Illinois will be the source of meal and oil that will be converted by Chevron into diesel and jet fuel. With an investment of US$600 million, Chevron will assist Bunge in doubling the combined capacity of both plants by 2024, in line with anticipated increases in the US biofuels blending mandates.
Even ExxonMobil, one of the most reticent of the supermajors to embrace renewables wholesale, is getting in on the action. Its Imperial Oil subsidiary in Canada has announced plans to commercialise renewable diesel at a new facility near Edmonton using plant-based feedstock and hydrogen. The venture does only target the Canadian market – where political will to drive renewable adoption is far higher than in the US – but similar moves have already been adopted by other refiners for the US market, including major investments by Phillips 66 and Valero.
Ultimately, these recent moves are driven out of necessity. This is the way the industry is moving and anyone stubborn enough to ignore it will be left behind. Combined with other major investments driven by European supermajors over the past five years, this wider and wider adoption of renewable can only be better for the planet and, eventually, individual bottom lines. The renewables ball is rolling fast and is only gaining momentum.
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