World Energy Consumption Will Increase by 50 Percent in 2050: EIA
Sat, April 10, 2021

World Energy Consumption Will Increase by 50 Percent in 2050: EIA

The world energy consumption will grow by almost 50 percent between 2018 and 2050 / Photo by Tommaso Altamura via 123rf


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a federal agency responsible for disseminating, analyzing, and collecting energy information and promoting sound policymaking and public understanding of energy. It recently shared in its International Energy Outlook 2019 report that the world energy consumption will grow by almost 50 percent between 2018 and 2050. It particularly highlights Asia, where energy usage is driven by the strong growth in economics.


Energy consumption in Asia greater than other regions

EIA Administrator Linda Capuano shared via smart utility news platform Smart Energy International that energy consumption was much greater in Asia compared to other regions in the previous year and they are projecting the numbers to double by 2050. This will make Asia the fastest-growing and the largest region globally in terms of energy usage. Capuano went on to say that the long-term trend of energy consumption in Asia that helps them support growing economies influences the transport, refining, and extraction of natural gas, oil, and other fuels.


Why India will lead the global growth in terms of industrial consumption of coal

The EIA report also shows that manufacturing centers are already shifting towards South Asia and Africa, particularly India. This results in energy usage growth, which is evident in petroleum and natural gas product consumption. EIA predicts that India will have the largest increase in terms of industrial energy usage and 70 percent of the country’s new energy will come from renewable energy. This, however, means that coal-fired generation in India is also projected to double. From 850 million short tons last year, its coal production will grow to two billion short tons by 2050 or a 27 percent increase each year.


India's coal production will grow to two billion short tons by 2050 / Photo by kodda via 123rf


The forecast shows that India will become the largest importer of coal in the world by the year 2050. Further, EIA expects China to change from coal use to natural gas. China’s decline in Co2 emissions will, however, offset India’s increase in coal emissions. 


Increase in renewable energy consumption

The report also highlights that renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, will have the largest share in global energy usage by 2050 and will outpace coal. Global carbon dioxide emissions from energy usage are also forecasted to increase at a 0.6 percent average rate per year between the previous year and 2050. Co2 emissions from the countries that are a part of the OECD are estimated to decline by 0.2 percent yearly, but non-OECD nations will increase their emissions by one percent. Such an increase, though, will be slower compared to the energy consumption growth of 1.6 percent.


Global Energy & CO2 Status Report

The International Energy Agency, which is an autonomous organization that works to ensure clean, affordable, and reliable energy for 30 member countries, shared in its Global Energy & CO2 Status Report that the global energy consumption in 2018 increased at about twice the average rate of growth because of higher cooling and heating needs in some parts of the world and a robust economy. The annual change in global primary energy demand in 2018 includes 143 Mtoe or millions of tonnes of oil equivalent unit of energy of gas, 81 Mtoe of renewables, 54 Mtoe of oil, 27 Mtoe of coal, and 23 of nuclear. Mtoe is used to describe the energy content of all fuels on a large scale.



The latest Global Energy & CO2 Status Report details the latest trends in emissions and energy in 2018. The report also details that liquid fuels, such as petroleum, will remain as the predominant transportation fuel but more people in the transportation sector will rely on electricity use as more plug-in electric vehicles will enter the market.

Economy and energy: how are they tied?

The economy is the wealth of a country or region in terms of consumption and production of goods and services. It is a networked system of government, businesses, and customers tied together by laws, customs, and a financial system. Central to its operation is the energy. Any economic activity needs energy resources, such as to manufacture goods, run computers and machines, and provide transportation.


Primary energy supply 

Intergovernmental economic group The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have previously published the primary energy supply of various countries, which takes into account energy production plus energy imports minus international bunkers and energy exports. Then, it considers the stock exchanges in the country. The primary energy source shows the energy forms needed by the energy industry to generate the supply of energy carriers that are used by society. The primary energy supply data below is based on Toe/1 000 US dollars:

United States: 0.125 in 2018
Hong Kong, China: 0.035 in 2017
People’s Republic of China: 0.147 in 2017
Democratic People's Republic of Korea: 0.148 in 2017
India: 0.105 in 2017
South Africa: 0.193 in 2017
United Kingdom: 0.067 in 2018
Venezuela: 0.147 in 2017
Turkey: 0.072 in 2018
United Arab Emirates: 0.109 in 2017