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Energy Of The Future. Demand By 2050

When it comes to energy, there is one matter everyone agrees on. For the near future, at least, the world will need more of it—and how it is produced and used will be a critical factor in the future of the global economy, geopolitics, and the environment. With that in mind, McKinsey took a hard look at the data, modeling energy demand from the bottom up, by country, sector, and fuel mix, with an analysis of current conditions, historical data, and country-level assessments. On this basis, McKinsey’s Global Energy Insights team has put together a description of the global energy landscape to 2050.

It is important to remember that this is a business-as-usual scenario. That is, it does not anticipate big disruptions in either the production or use of energy. And, of course, predicting the future of anything is perilous. With those caveats in mind, here are four of the most interesting insights from this research.

Global energy demand will continue to grow. But growth will be slower—an average of about 0.7 percent a year through 2050 (versus an average of more than 2 percent from 2000 to 2015). The decline in the rate of growth is due to digitization, slower population and economic growth, greater efficiency, a decline in European and North American demand, and the global economic shift toward services, which use less energy than the production of goods. For example, in India, the percentage of GDP derived from services is expected to rise from 54 to 64 percent by 2035. And efficiency is a forthright good-news story. By 2035, McKinsey research expects that it will take almost 40 percent less fuel to propel a fossil-fueled car a mile than it does now. By 2050, global “energy intensity”—that is, how much energy is used to produce each unit of GDP—will be half what it was in 2013. That may sound optimistic, but it is based on recent history. From 1990 to 2015, global energy intensity improved by almost a third, and it is reasonable to expect the rate of progress to accelerate.

Demand for electricity will grow twice as fast as that for transport.

China and India will account for 71 percent of new capacity. By 2050, electricity will account for a quarter of all energy demand, compared with 18 percent now. How will that additional power be generated? More than three-quarters of new capacity (77 percent), according to the McKinsey research, will come from wind and solar, 13 percent from natural gas, and the rest from everything else. The share of nuclear and hydro is also expected to grow, albeit modestly.

What that means is that by 2050, nonhydro renewables will account for more than a third of global power generation—a huge increase from the 2014 level of 6 percent. To put it another way, between now and 2050, wind and solar are expected to grow four to five times faster than every other source of power.

Fossil fuels will dominate energy use through 2050. This is because of the massive investments that have already been made and because of the superior energy intensity and reliability of fossil fuels. The mix, however, will change. Gas will continue to grow quickly, but the global demand for coal will likely peak around 2025. Growth in the use of oil, which is predominantly used for transport, will slow down as vehicles get more efficient and more electric; here, peak demand could come as soon as 2030. By 2050, the research estimates that coal will be down to just 16 percent of global power generation (from 41 percent now) and fossil fuels to 38 percent (from 66 percent now). Overall, though, coal, oil, and, gas will continue to be 74 percent of primary energy demand, down from 82 percent now. After that, the rate of decline is likely to accelerate.

Energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions will rise 14 percent in the next 20 years. That is not what needs to happen to keep the planet from warming another two degrees, the goal of the 2015 Paris climate conference. Around 2035, though, emissions will flatten and then fall, for two main reasons. First, cars and trucks will be cleaner, due to more efficient engines and the deployment of electric vehicles. Second, there is the shift in the power industry toward gas and renewables discussed above. The countervailing trends are that there are likely to be some 1.5 billion more people by 2035, and global GDP will rise by about half over that period. All those people will need to eat and work, and that means more energy.

The world is full of unpredictable and sometimes wonderful surprises, so I accept that these numbers are unlikely to be perfect. As with any forecast, they are based on assumptions—about China and India, for example—as well as about oil prices and economic growth. Other sources see different outlooks. Concerted global action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, for example, could change the arc of these trends. Technological disruptions could also bend the curve.

For business and political leaders, though, the implications are clear. Given that global energy demand will grow, it is likely that prices will continue to be volatile. Better energy efficiency, then, is an important way to reduce related risks. Technology development is critical to ensuring that the world gets the energy it needs while mitigating environmental harm. This will require substantial new investments. Finally, to encourage the creation of the clean and reliable energy infrastructure that the world needs, energy producers will need to work with local, regional, national, and international regulators. Getting things right the first time is essential; there is extensive evidence to show that dramatic changes in policy act as a powerful deterrent to energy investments by producers. Given the scale of the new investments needed, this will be a factor of growing importance.

Courtesy of McKinsey

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Chart Palooza

I'm continually saving charts and data points which I find interesting but generally don't post enough to share the data.  That being said, I thought "wth" and decided to share some of my most recent.  Perhaps you can find a few of interest or maybe you can translate one into a trade.  It certainly can't hurt.  Your comments would be of interest and will be answered.  Happy trading.

Online shoppers by income group.  It certainly seems Amazon benefits by middle income buyers.  Possibly they just don't have the 'time' to shop in a store, working 60+ hours a week and balancing soccer games, football, cheerleading practice, dinner, laundry, etc.

Jet[dot]com is now selling some items at a loss to gain marketshare from Amazon

We've had numerous talks in Chat over coal usage (is clean coal an oxymoron or what?) and this certainly backs up the belief that natural gas continues to be embraced.

Then we have a look at Bear markets of 20% or more.The average # of months caught my eye.  No, I don't believe we're out of the woods yet.

Presented without comment.

More on China de-leveraging; reverting to the mean.

Ever wonder just "who" is feeling the most pain with the collapse in commodity prices?

Then we have projections on when the Fed will raise rates; this compared to past increases.  Their rate of increase vs. what is anticipated.

Now a blip from the SoberLook on steel and China's overcapacity.

Lastly a look at China's production growth with many wondering just 'where' is the bottom?

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(edited 1:18pm to add U.S. projections)

Germans have now achieved goals, which coal industry skeptics have been claiming for the last 40 years could not be achieved even by 2050 and is is rapidly becoming a model country for transitions to renewable and sustainable energy proving that "yes, a transition to a renewable energy economy can be done, and it can be down with continuous improvement to existing technology.

Germans have a special word for it -"'Energiewende', or energy transformation - which aims to power the entire country by renewable resources by 2050." Germans are now laying down a challenge for other countries saying there is no longer any excuse for countries to say this is impossible.

June 6, 2014 was a record breaking day for the solar power industry in Germany when the country broke through the symbolic barrier of generating more than 50% of its total electricity needs with solar power for one hour in an all time record, according to Tobias Rothachter, and expert on renewable energy at Germany's Trade and Invest.

Indeed, the EU has taken an aggressive vision for the transition of the energy supply and demand for the 27 EU countries to 100% renewable energy together with phase-out of fossil and nuclear energy until 2040. With the vision and the underlying scenario is a reduction of CO2 emissions from energy use of just above 40% until 2020

Incredibly it would appear solar power is now the dominant #1 producer of electric power in Germany, and wind electric is the second with the two together providing 74% of all the countries electrical power needs in 2014.  Simply amazing stuff.  It should also be noted that Wind also set a single day record producing 39% of the countries electricity in December.

Another recent study has shown that solar electrical generation in German has just achieved the longed-for, but illusive, grid parity with other forms of electrical generation in the country.  Andres Loubrielhttp of The Guardian brings us all this good news in 50 Percent of the Energy Produced in Germany Is Solar: New Record.

The U.S. meanwhile seems to have been completely asleep as the renewable wheel as the chart to the right demonstrates.  Even states such as Oklahoma seem determined to make out on the renewable game with their passage of a tax in April on anyone installing solar to offset existing electric grid infrastructure costs.  Don't even get me going on that rant.  Grrrrr

Sadly renewables accounted for a pitiful 9.29% of total energy production in the U.S. in 2012 according to EIA.gov. (according to data accessed today) which begs the question: "will oil-baron-billionaire-dominated America ever catch up?"

Hat tips to the Guardian and DailyKos

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Pooty said in an hour-long TV interview on Thursday. “We sell gas in European countries which have around 30-35 percent of their gas balance covered by supplies from Russia. Can they stop buying Russian gas? In my opinion it is impossible.” Don't count your куры before they're hatched Pooty, old boy.

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