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Page added on September 6, 2017

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Gas to Become World’s Primary Energy Source by 2035

Consumption

Oil and gas will be crucial components of the world’s energy future, according to DNV GL’s forecast of the energy transition. While renewable energy will grow its share of the energy mix, gas will become the largest single source of energy from 2034.

DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook, a forecast that spans the global energy mix to 2050, predicts that global demand for energy will flatten in 2030, then steadily decline over the next two decades, thanks to step-changes in energy efficiency. Total final energy demand by mid-century is estimated at 430 exajoules (EJ), up from 400 EJ in 2015. This, relatively modest, seven percent increase contrasts with the 35 percent rise in global energy demand that has occurred over the last 15 years.

The fossil fuel share of the world’s primary energy mix will reduce from 81 percent currently to 52 percent in 2050.  Demand for oil will peak in 2022, driven by expectations for a surge in prominence of light electric vehicles, accounting for 50 percent of new car sales globally by 2035.

Gas will continue to play a key role alongside renewables in helping to meet future, lower-carbon, energy requirements. Major oil companies intend to increase the share of gas in their reserves, and DNV GL expect an accelerated shift by 2022 as they decarbonize business portfolios.

The report states that, globally, expenditures for fossil fuels will drop by more than half from around $3,400 billion/yr today to $1,500 billion/yr in 2050, while non-fossil energy expenditures show the reverse trend, increasing five-fold from around $500 billion/yr today to $2,700 billion/yr in 2050.

“Shifting to renewables, where capital expenditure (capex) is mostly upfront, implies a shift from an energy system with a 60/40 split between opex and capex to one with the inverse split of 40/60. In dollar terms, global opex will decline from about $2,000 billion/yr in 2015 to $1,500 billion/yr in 2050. Conversely, capital expenditure increases from $1,800 billion/yr in 2015 to $2,600 billion/yr in 2050. The energy transition can be undertaken without a significant increase in overall energy expenditures, which will stay approximately constant over time.”

The Outlook is available here.

maritime-executive.com



6 Comments on "Gas to Become World’s Primary Energy Source by 2035"

  1. Antius on Wed, 6th Sep 2017 10:28 pm 

    None of these predictions account for the impact of the approaching economic dislocation. The assumption that the world will transition to battery electric vehicles is based on the assumption that (1) Consumers can afford them; (2) Society can afford the infrastructure needed to support them; (3) That they are actually the most efficient solution to our mobility problem.

    Satisfying the first two assumptions is looking doubtful. Very soon, society will be too poor to invest in solutions that are more expensive than the status quo:

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/09/06/why-oil-prices-cant-bounce-very-high-expect-deflation-instead/
    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/08/14/world-gdp-in-current-us-dollars-seems-to-have-peaked-this-is-a-problem/

    The high energy invested in Li-ion batteries makes it doubtful that BEVs are a sustainable solution. They are expensive and there is limited scope to systematically reduce those costs.

    Here is prediction that I would hope to be wrong about: By 2050, the world’s dominant electricity fuel will be coal. Total electricity production in 2050 will be lower than today.

  2. GregT on Wed, 6th Sep 2017 10:37 pm 

    “This, relatively modest, seven percent increase contrasts with the 35 percent rise in global energy demand that has occurred over the last 15 years.”

    It also contrasts with the 30% increas in population numbers expected by 2050, and the decrease in the number of poverty stricken.

    Hmmm, something just doesn’t quite add up here……..

  3. Antius on Wed, 6th Sep 2017 10:46 pm 

    “Shifting to renewables, where capital expenditure (capex) is mostly upfront, implies a shift from an energy system with a 60/40 split between opex and capex to one with the inverse split of 40/60. In dollar terms, global opex will decline from about $2,000 billion/yr in 2015 to $1,500 billion/yr in 2050. Conversely, capital expenditure increases from $1,800 billion/yr in 2015 to $2,600 billion/yr in 2050. The energy transition can be undertaken without a significant increase in overall energy expenditures, which will stay approximately constant over time.”

    This looks like hopium in the light of real life facts:

    http://euanmearns.com/worldwide-investment-in-renewable-energy-reaches-us-4-trillion-with-little-to-show-for-it/

    Gail’s most recent post reveals than global investment (in all infrastructure) has not grown in 10 years.

    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/09/06/why-oil-prices-cant-bounce-very-high-expect-deflation-instead/

    Euan Mearn’s post demonstrates that renewable energy investment levelled off globally after 2011. Recent price declines result from deflationary squeeze on renewable energy companies, rather than genuine reduction in build costs.

    How realistic is it to suppose than renewable energy investment can increase several fold, during the most severe and protracted economic depression since the start of the industrial revolution?

  4. Apneaman on Wed, 6th Sep 2017 11:08 pm 

    Humans to Become Worm’s Primary Energy Source by 2035

  5. rockman on Thu, 7th Sep 2017 9:26 pm 

    Antius – Exactly. The problem has always been the same: the necessity of continuing to feed the fossil fuel beast while building out the alts. In fact if the alts ever do shift into a high rate growth phase fossil fuel consumption might have to ramp up at least for a while.

  6. Kenz300 on Sat, 9th Sep 2017 9:55 am 

    Wind and solar will become the world’s primary energy source in 2035.

    Wind and solar are safer, cleaner and cheaper.

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