Calculations in the United Nations show that the world population will increase to about 10 billion people by 2050. Parallel to the population growth, the global energy requirement will rise considerably despite all further efforts concerning the rational use of energy. According to the most recent World Energy Scenario 2019, published by the World Energy Council (WEC), three possible perspectives are possible, each one with different primary energy demand and consumption. The rate of growth of primary energy demand per capita is highly dependent on the scenario. The strong global policy effects of Unfinished Symphony (a strong, coordinated, policy-led world, with long-term planning and united global action) could achieve a near-flat primary energy demand through to 2040. The Modern Jazz (a market-led, digitally disrupted world with faster-paced and more uneven economic growth) technology-driven efficiency gains could be overwhelmed by strong GDP growth with primary energy demand increasing by 13% over the period. The Hard Rock (a fragmented world with inward-looking policies, lower growth and less global cooperation) approaches could lead to a 21% growth, which is still less than half of the growth of the past twenty years.

Fossil fuels will continue to provide over two-thirds of global primary energy in 2040. Coal’s contribution falls, whereas gas grows its share in all scenarios. Oil demand peaks between 2025 and 2030 in Modern Jazz and Unfinished Symphony, while it could rise till 2040 in the Hard Rock scenario.