Having fallen sharply in 2020 due to the pandemic, oil demand rebounds quickly, returning to the 2019 level of 98 million barrels per day (mb/d) by 2023 and reaching a plateau of around 104 mb/d shortly after 2030, Trend reports with reference to the International Energy Agency’s Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) scenario.
Natural gas demand increases from 3 900 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2020 to 4 600 bcm in 2030 and 5 700 bcm in 2050. Nuclear energy grows by 15 percent between 2020 and 2030, mainly reflecting expansions in China.
The projected trends in CO2 emissions in the STEPS result from changes in the amount of energy used and the mix of fuels and technologies. Total energy supply (TES) worldwide rises by just over 30% between 2020 and 2050 in the STEPS. Without a projected annual average reduction of 2.2 percent in energy intensity, i.e. energy use per unit of GDP, TES in 2050 would be around 85 percent higher. In advanced economies, energy use falls by around 5 percent to 2050, despite a 75 percent increase in economic activity over the period. In emerging market and developing economies, energy use increases by 50% to 2050, reflecting a tripling of economic output between 2020 and 2050.
Despite the increase in GDP and energy use in emerging market and developing economies, 750 million people still have no access to electricity in 2050, more than 95 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa, and 1.5 billion people continue to rely on the traditional use of bioenergy for cooking.
The global fuel mix changes significantly between 2020 and 2050. Coal use, which peaked in 2014, falls by around 15 percent.
Total final consumption increases in all sectors in the STEPS, led by electricity and natural gas. All the growth is in emerging market and developing economies. The biggest change in energy use is in the electricity sector. Global electricity demand increases by 80 percent between 2020 and 2050, around double the overall rate of growth in final energy consumption. More than 85 percent of the growth in global electricity demand comes from emerging market and developing economies. Coal continues to play an important role in electricity generation in those economies to 2050, despite strong growth in renewables: in advanced economies, the use of coal for electricity generation drops sharply.