Among diverse energy resources, natural gas is set to grow strongly, supported by broad-based demand and the continuing expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increasing the availability of gas globally.
This is according to the recently published BP Energy Outlook 2018, which looks at forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition.
In the evolving transition scenario, world GDP more than doubles by 2040, driven by increasing prosperity in fast-growing emerging economies, as more than 2.5 billion people are lifted from low incomes.
This rising prosperity drives an increase in global energy demand, although the extent of this growth is offset by accelerating gains in energy efficiency; energy demand increases by only around one third over the next 25 years.
The global energy mix is the most diverse the world has ever seen by the forecast period, with oil, gas, coal and non-fossil fuels each contributing around a quarter, says the report.
“We are seeing growing competition between different energy sources, driven by abundant energy supplies, and continued improvements in energy efficiency. As the world learns to do more with less, demand for energy will be met by the most diverse fuels mix we have ever seen,” says Spencer Dale, group chief economist.
Natural gas overtakes coal
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By 2040, the US accounts for almost one quarter of global gas production, and global LNG supplies will more than double. The sustained growth in LNG supplies greatly increases the availability of gas around the world, with LNG volumes overtaking inter-regional pipeline shipments in the early 2020s.
According to Dale, by the predicted period, more than 40% of the overall increase in energy demand is met by renewable energy.
On the other hand, coal consumption flatlines over the outlook period, with falls in China and the OECD offset by increasing demand in India and other emerging Asian economies.
China remains the largest market for coal, accounting for 40% of global coal demand to 2040.
Download the full report, here