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Renewables displace oil as top world energy source late 2040s: US EIA

Highlights

Peak oil demand not expected before 2050

Reference case assumes $100/b oil price

Natural gas is fastest-growing fossil fuel

Washington — Renewable energy will displace petroleum as the most-used global energy source in the late 2040s, but oil demand is not expected to peak before 2050, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in its latest long-term international outlook.

The reference case assumes Brent oil prices at $100/b in 2050, in 2018 dollars, and annual global economic growth of 3%.

EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said the outlook for oil demand continuing to rise through 2050 is based on economic growth, population growth, demand for new oil-based products, air-conditioning use, transportation and other factors.

"Even though you see a very aggressive change in renewables, it is just not growing fast enough to meet the demand, and we do not see demand tapering off," she said at an event to release the report at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

The forecast sees global renewable energy demand increasing 3% per year between 2018 and 2040, driven by electricity demand and government policies.

The EIA expects liquid fuel consumption to decline to 27% as a share of global demand in 2050, from 32% in 2018.

Natural gas is expected to be the world's fastest-growing fossil fuel out to 2050, with demand rising 1.1% per year, compared with liquid fuel growth of 0.6% per year and coal growth of 0.4% per year.

Capuano said the demand assumptions are heavily influenced by expected use in India, China and Africa.

-- Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by James Burgess, newsdesk@spglobal.com