Energy Consumption Will Rise by 50pc by 2015

Economic Review, May 1996 | Go to article overview
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Energy Consumption Will Rise by 50pc by 2015


World energy consumption is expected to rise by 50 percent over the next 20 years with greater use of oil driving the increase, said a new Department of Energy forecast. According to a USIS announcement, oil consumption is projected to increase from 69 million barrels a day in 1995 to 99 million barrels a day in 2015, said the "International Energy Outlook 1996", a report prepared by the Departments Energy Information Administration.

The report, released May 16, predicts that there will be sufficient oil supplies to meet the anticipated growth in demand with only moderate rises in world prices. The projected increase in world energy demand, about 5 per cent higher than the amount estimated last year, "reflects stronger expectations for economic growth in developing countries," the report said.

Energy demand by developing countries is expected to outstrip that of the 25 industrial country members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said the report. Energy demand by the OECD should grow by 27 per cent between 1995 and 2015, while demand in the non-OECD development countries will grow by 77 per cent.

"By 2005, energy demand in the non-OECD nearly equals that of the OECD, but by 2015 demand in the non-OECD exceeds that of OECD by 16 per cent," according to the report. The rapidly growing economies in Asia - mainly China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia - will be primarily responsible for this increased energy demand, the report said.

Despite the growth in the world's energy requirements, the report said factors such as "new discoveries of oil and natural gas, technological developments (that) allow more energy sources to be recovered, and increased efficiency of generating plants will make it possible to supply the increase demand." Oil will remain the dominant fuel worldwide throughout the forecast period, said the report. In 1993, oil accounted for about 39 per cent of world energy consumption, the report said. It predicts that oil consumption will increase by 44 per cent by 2015. In that year, however, oil as a percentage of world energy consumption will be about 37 per cent, near the same proportion of 20 years earlier.

Natural gas consumption is expected to grow faster, increasing by 69 per cent by 2015 and becoming a larger portion of overall energy consumption - equal to coal. By 2015, natural gas and coal will each account for 23 to 24 per cent of world energy consumption, the report said. The projected growth in natural gas demand is attributed to it being a cleaner fuel, the increased competitiveness of natural gas-fired electricity plants, abundant reserves and the rapidly expanding infrastructure for natural gas use.

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