Global energy demand will nearly double in the next two decades in the absence of savings enabled by efficiency gain, according to the study Transforming the energy, utilities and resources conducted by PwC. If these savings were achieved through companies taking advantage of the technological advances in the field, the global energy demand could increase by only 25 percent instead of doubling, the company said.
“The energy sector is in the middle of a massive transformation. Global demand is accelerating, and by 2040 it will be four times higher than it was 30 years ago. The combined pressure of increasing demand and the concern about climate change will have an impact on each industry within the energy, utilities and resources sectors,” said David Trow, Partner and Energy Services Leader at PwC Romania.
Currently, global energy consumption is rising much faster than the population. While energy consumption reached 5 billion tons of oil equivalent five decades ago, at a population of 3.7 billion people, by 2020 it will quadruple, reaching 19 billion tons of oil equivalent. During this period, the population has doubled. By 2040, there will be 9 billion people on the planet, and consumption will be more than 6 times higher (32 billion tons) than it was 50 years ago, according to the study.
“The implementation of solutions for better energy efficiency could bring significant savings so that global energy demand might only increase by 25 percent over the next 20 years, instead of doubling. Fortunately, thanks to technologies based on artificial intelligence, data analysis, the possibility to store surplus energy, renewable resources and others, companies now have many more tools and opportunities to successfully increase energy efficiency in their businesses,” explains Andreea Mitirita, Partner at PwC Romania.
The PwC report’s main findings:
- Much of the growth in energy demand comes from India and China.
- Renewables are the fastest growing energy source.
- The use of natural gas will grow much faster than that of oil or coal.
- The growth of the population and the energy demand will put pressure on the discovery of new deposits of resources, and implicitly on producers’ investment budgets.
- Shareholders of energy, utilities and resources companies increasingly insist that the energy and products they supply be cleaner, with a low carbon footprint.
- New technologies and renewable energy resources support companies’ plans to make consumption more efficient.
- The advancement of technologies to produce renewable energy and the possibility of storage allow people and communities to produce, use and sell their own energy.