In 2035, less coal, more renewables and natural gas

In 2035, less coal, more renewables and natural gas

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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The latest report by Wood Mackenzie shows how the global energy mix will change between now and 2035. India will overtake China in terms of energy demand

That the global demand for energy continues to grow is no longer news, but the nature of the energy mix and the players in 2035 could constitute a major surprise. The analysts at Wood Mackenzie have come to this conclusion after studying the world energy markets and the development policies of the major world economies. The new report published by the research institute shows that the Chinese economy, that has led the demand for energy over the last 15 years, is now tacking towards the services sector, which requires less energy than heavy industry; while in India, and in general throughout South Asia, they are putting their foot down on the accelerator. In fact Indian energy demand continues to grow at an average of 3% and - according to the experts - in 2035 it is expected to overtake that of China, along with the  number of inhabitants, which will make India the most energy-consuming and most populated nation of the world.
As well as that, according to the report, the composition of the global energy mix will also change. Renewables, wind and sun to the fore, will continue to win more space on the global energy pie chart, with a growth of 7% respectively for wind power and 11% for solar, encroaching on the slice taken up by coal. Here natural gas is a case apart, and in absolute terms will grow more than the other sources. As the report clearly states: "Natural gas has a particularly rosy path ahead of it, and is registering substantial growth worldwide. With an increase of 41% it is expected to become the second energy source by 2035."
For Wood Mackenzie the new role of gas also seems to be supported by the US policy, that aims at driving down prices to establish itself as a leading energy exporter by 2021. In this scenario more than half of American LNG exports will go to Europe, providing one fifth of Europe's gas needs by 2035 (a reminder that Russia currently supplies 35% of Europe's gas). Exports that will also be headed to China, whose demand for gas is expected to grow 366 percent by 2035. That of India is expected to grow by 156%. The Middle East is now well on the way to becoming a major gas importer, where it plans to depend on gas for domestic consumption, in order not to encroach on its level of oil exports.