Per capita energy demand will peak before 2030, in stark contrast to historic growth levels, which have seen global demand for energy more than double since 1970, a new World Energy Council (WEC) report says.
Launched at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, the report, “World Energy Scenarios 2016 – The Grand Transition”, says technological innovation, government policies and lower growth expectations will have a significant impact on the sector in the coming decades.
The findings come in a new set of exploratory scenarios, developed by the World Energy Council in collaboration with Accenture Strategy and the Paul Scherrer Institute.
The report includes three scenarios entitled “Unfinished Symphony”, “Modern Jazz” and “Hard Rock”, which present three distinct trajectories for the energy sector to 2060, with very different realities across regions.
“It is clear that we are undergoing a Grand Transition, which will create a fundamentally new world for the energy industry,” Ged Davis, the WEC’s Executive Chair of Scenarios, said at the launch.
“Historically people have talked about Peak Oil, but now disruptive trends are leading energy experts to consider the implications of Peak Demand. Our research highlights seven key implications for the energy sector which will need to be carefully considered by leaders in boardrooms and staterooms.”
The report goes on to highlight that there will be a shift in final energy consumption with demand for electricity doubling by 2060.
Solar and wind, which currently account for approximately four percent of power generation, will see the largest increase so that by 2060 they will represent between 20 percent and 39 percent of power generation.
Fossil fuel usage could fall to as little as 50 percent of the primary energy mix in one of the scenarios, with very differing futures for coal, oil and natural gas. However, in all three scenarios the carbon budget is also likely to be broken within the next 30 to 40 years.
Oil will continue to play a significant role in the transportation sector, representing over 60 percent of the mix in all three scenarios to 2060, and natural gas will continue to increase at a steady rate.
Read more on the report here.