Global energy use projected to increase by 50% by 2050

Falling technology costs and government policies that provide incentives for green energy will result in the growth of renewable electricity generation to meet growing power demand

Pathway to COP26 report

Global energy consumption has been projected to increase by nearly 50% over the next 30 years, led by a growth in renewables.

That’s according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) ‘International Energy Outlook 2021’, which suggests while petroleum and other liquid fuels will remain the world’s largest energy source in 2050, renewable energy sources that include solar and wind will grow to nearly the same level.

Falling technology costs and government policies that provide incentives for green energy will result in the growth of renewable electricity generation to meet growing power demand

As a result, renewables will be the fastest-growing energy source for both Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and non-OECD nations.

Coal and nuclear consumption have been projected to decrease in OECD countries, although that will be more than offset by increase use in non-OECD nations.

The EIA also projects natural gas consumption to increase through 2050, with the industrial sector being the main contributor to the growth.

It adds: “Delivered electricity consumption will grow the most in the residential end-use sector. We project that in non-OECD countries, electricity will account for more than half of the energy used in households by 2050, compared with 33% in 2020. In non-OECD commercial buildings, we project that electricity will make up an even larger share of energy consumption in 2050, at 64%.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast