With the UN predicting the global population to growfrom 7.3 billion today to 9.2 billion by 2040, our demands for energy mustincrease significantly in that time. Both an increase in population andincreasing standards of living for many people in developing countries are andwill continue to cause a strong growth in energy demand. Over 70% of theincreased energy demand is coming from developing countries, mainly China andIndia. China has surpassed the USA as the world’s largest energy consumer, andby 2040 the country has been predicted to use nearly twice as much energy asthe USA.
Imposed upon this is, the UN Population Division projects an ongoingtrend of urbanisation, from 52% in 2011 to a predicted 62% in 2035 and thengoing on to reach 70% worldwide by 2050, enabling the global population tostabilize at approximately 9 billion with improved food supply, clean water,sanitation, health, education, and communication facilities.Coal is not in limitedsupply, but large quantities of the resource need to be moved from where it isplentiful to where it will be needed (mainly for power generation). This transportationhas both economic and environmental implications (e.
g. transportation). Naturalgas is abundant, with supplies in several countries increasing due to more advancedtechnology (gas in shale beds). Oil is becomingmore and more limited, even though production has increased due to fracking. However, it is invaluable being heavily used intransport.
In the WorldEnergy Outlook 2016 New Policies scenario, there are many changes beingmade in the future. Coal-fired powergeneration doubled in the 20 years to 2014, growth in coal use will slow down,with only a projected 5.5% increase in demand by 2040. Coal’s share ofelectricity production is expected to drop significantlyfrom 41% today to 28% by 2040. The nuclear share increases marginally to 12%(The nuclear industries goal is for nuclear power to provide 25% of electricityby 2050).
Gases contribution increases slightly from 22% today to 23% by 2040.However, there is a 15% increase in the contribution of non-hydro renewables,from 6% today to 21% in 2040.