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Future world energy demand

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In the International Energy Outlook 2013 (IOE2013) the EIA projected that growth in world energy use will largely come from countries outside of the OECD. Between 2010 and 2040 energy use patterns for countries inside the OECD are relatively stable as primary energy sue is projected to grow by 0.5% /y, which is roughly the same rate as population growth in the countries. For non-OECD countries, faster growing economies and changing habits in highly concentrated populations are likely to drive significant increases in energy use. Energy use in non-OECD countries is projected by the EIA to grow by 2.2% /y, and the share of non-OECD energy use is expected to rise from 54% to total world energy use in 2010 to 65% in 2040.

2010 – 2040

The IEO2013 shows that between 2010 and 2040, primary energy use per capita is expected to change little from its 2010 level of 196 million Btu in the OECD but grows from 50 million – 73 million Btu /capita in non-OECD countries. As well as already being home to most of the world’s population in 2010, the non-OECD countries are also expected to experience most of the world’s population growth through 2040. Population growth is most pronounced in African countries, but energy use /capita is low across the continent and is projected to stay pretty much constant through 2040. India is also to account for a large portion of world population growth, adding more than twice as many people as expected to be added in the entire group of OECD countries between the analysis period. Unlike African countries, India’s energy use /capita is expected to grow during the period.


Total GDP in 2040, measured in purchasing power parity (PPP), of non-OECD countries is projected to be much higher than the GDP of OECD countries, but the amount of energy used per unit of GDP is virtually the same. At the same time, the ratio of GDP relative to the population is to remain much higher in OECD countries. The higher GDP to population ratio is likely to allow citizens in OECD countries to spend more resources on energy consuming services that provide productivity, leisure and comfort, and keeps energy consumption on a /capita basis much higher in the OECD. As the economies in the non-OECD countries continue to experience relatively fast growth, those countries will also be able to spend more for energy consuming services. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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