Coal, Gas, Renewables

Global electricity consumption to rise 79 percent higher by 2050, EIA says

World energy consumption will grow by nearly 50 percent over the next 31 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest international outlook released Tuesday.

Most of the growth anticipated between 2018 and 2050 will come from still developing nations, particularly in Asia. Global industrial energy consumption will potentially rise more than 30 percent to about 315 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) during that time.

The buildings sector, both residential and commercial, should see a 65 percent rise in consumption from now until 2050, up to 139 quadtrillion Btu, according to the EIA. Transportation energy consumption will increase by 40 percent in the next 31 years worldwide, but that sector’s growth in the developing world will be significantly higher.

The EIA data predicts that electricity consumption will be 79 percent higher through 2050. Rising population and better standards of living in developing nations will cause a greater demand for appliances and personal equipment, according to the report.

Wind, solar and hydroelectric power will rise to the challenge of meeting those greater demands, the EIA says. Global renewable energy consumption will increase an average 3.1 percent per year up to 2050, compared with weaker 0.4 and 1.1 percent annual growth in coal and natural gas, respectively.

This is not to say that national gas consumption will not grow dramatically. In fact, it will be 40 percent higher and total nearly 200 quadrillion Btu by 2050, according to the EIA.