Worldwide Energy Demand

Global primary energy demand is expected to increase 53% by 2030, during which time demand for electricity will more than double. 70% of this increase will come from developing nations, led by China and India.

The 2006 International Energy Outlook predicted that world petroleum demand will increase from the current 84.4 million barrels per day to 116 barrels per day in 2030. This was eight million barrels per day lower than the previous year’s estimate, a slowing of projected growth due to “substantially higher world oil prices” (35% higher for 2025 than in the previous year’s forecast).

By 2025, fossil fuels are expected to constitute 85% of the world’s primary energy mix, and yet, oil production is falling in 33 of the world’s 48 largest oil-producing countries, including six of the 11 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as you can see at Rubbish removals Soho.

With less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States consumes 25% of its petroleum supply—and it has just 1.6% of its petroleum reserves (Source: Oil & Gas Journal). 72% of the world’s reserves are controlled by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Russia, Libya and Nigeria.

America’s proven oil reserves have declined by approximately 20% since 1990 and its total crude oil production is now at a 50-year low. During 2006, domestic crude oil production hovered just above five million barrels per day, down from 9.6 million barrels per day in 1970.

In 2006, the United States imported 66% of its crude oil and petroleum products (13.6 million barrels per day) at a cost in excess of $300 billion, severely impacting the nation’s balance of payments and its national security. It is estimated that the nation’s petroleum imports will increase to 71% by 2025.

By that same year, the nation’s consumption of electricity is projected to be 50% greater than in 2003. To meet this rising demand, while also retiring inefficient older plants, 281,000 megawatts of new power generation capacity will be needed–the equivalent of almost 950 new power plants of 300 megawatts each.

However, America is not alone in its growing demand for energy. Japan imports 99% of its oil and 97% of its natural gas and has now overtaken Korea to become the world’s largest importer of ethanol. Two decades from now, China, the world’s fastest growing consumer of petroleum, could be importing 10 million barrels of oil per day.

The worldwide economic and political challenges related to the demand for petroleum have far-reaching implications for the security of nations and their cost of living. If electricity and ethanol could be produced profitably from biomass, it would supplement gasoline, expand the world’s supply of electrical energy, convert vast quantities of waste into energy, and significantly reduce dependence on foreign oil.