After more than 100 years of intense growth, global energy demand is expected to plateau in the next 11 years, due to renewable energy pervading the global energy mix. Changes in energy usage patterns will also contribute to the plateau of energy demand in 2030, with a switch to service industries offsetting previously rising energy demand. Experts predict that after 2035, over 50% of energy generation will be from renewables.
Oil demand for road transport will also fall by 2035, as the number of electric vehicles sold is forecast to surpass 100 million, with a possible 2 billion electric vehicles used for road transport by 2050. Overall, oil and coal demand growth is slowing and is expected to peak in the early 2030s. Gas is expected to maintain its growth until 2035, when demand will also begin to flatten and then decline.
Due to increased living standards in non-OECD countries, building-related electricity demand is also expected to spike, jumping 80%–85% between 2016 and 2050, thanks to higher usage of space cooling and appliances. This increased usage is predicted to account for approximately 40% of total building-related electricity demand growth, with around 33% of the increase coming from the growing middle class across Africa.
China is a major player in the changing energy landscape, with the nation’s gas-demand growth being larger than that of the next 10 countries, including the US. Because of this, China will account for almost 50% of gas-demand growth through 2035. The country will also significantly affect coal prices, as coal demand is forecast to drop 40% by 2050 due to slowdowns in the Chinese power sector. The decrease in coal usage will help spur a 20% decrease of global energy-related emissions, after emissions peak in 2024.