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Data and forecasts on the future of energy

Energy: global demand will grow 30 percent by 2040 with natural gas facilitating the transition to a cleaner system-Italy can play an important role, thanks to its many equipment and plant manufacturing companies.

This is clearly stated in the World Energy Outlook 2017, the recent publication of the International Energy Agency, which contains data and forecasts on the future of energy for the coming years under different scenarios: between now and 2040, world energy demand will grow by 30 percent. Kind of like adding another China and India to today’s question.

That is why the development of technologies for energy production from alternative energy sources, including natural gas and renewables, becomes a key challenge for the planet, which is increasingly affected by climate change.

What are the data and predictions about the future of energy according to the report?


Demand for energy will grow because:

  1. the global economy will grow by an average of 3.4 percent per year;
  2. population, likewise, will reach 9 billion from 7.4 billion today;
  3. the urbanization process will result in the addition of a city the size of Shanghai (over 24 million people) to the world’s urban population every 4 months.

Within this framework, the study highlights some predictions regarding the types of energy sources.

First, it emerges how the increase in energy demand will have to be supported by theuse of natural gas, which will grow by 45 percent between now and 2040, and then by the rapid growth of renewables and improved energy efficiency.

Renewables will become, for many countries, the lowest-cost source of next-generation energy. A rapid increase in solar photovoltaics will be seen, reaching 40 percent of power generation from renewable sources. In the European Union, renewables will count for 80 percent of new installed capacity, and it will be wind power that will become the primary source of electricity after 2030.

The other, more polluting energy sources will still be present, however. In this regard, coal consumption, according to the report, will remain unchanged despite population growth, while we will not yet be ready to say goodbye to oil completely. In fact, demand for this fossil fuel will still grow to 105 million barrels per day (today it is about 96) due to its use in the production of petrochemicals and truck, aviation and transportation fuel. The rate of growth, however will still be important until the mid-2020s, but then it will slow down due to the shift to new sources of supply for transportation. The outlook with respect to nuclear power, on the other hand, has dimmed since the agency’s last study, but China will continue to lead to a gradual growth of this source.

All in-depth data are available here.


As seen, gas will be an important energy source for energy supply demand. The report highlights how this source presents an opportunity to encourage the transition to a cleaner energy system.

In this scenario, 80 percent of gas demand will come from emerging economies, led by China, which will need to import it and create the infrastructure for this purpose.

It is precisely Italy, in the field of oil and gas plant and equipment manufacturing, that boasts numerous companies with specialized expertise in the production of equipment and plants .

These companies, which collaborate at different stages of the production chain, according to Nomisma Energia estimates, reach a turnover of 19 billion euros, 90 percent of which is carried out abroad, and employ 60 thousand people.

Which companies are we talking about? Essentially of companies that make products and equipment for oil and gas production and transportation but also companies that create electrical transmission systems. In addition, there are companies that design and build the plants and deliver them directly to customers.

EiQ Industrial is also targeting this sector, offering certified switchboards for oil and gas extraction and distribution facilities. The dedicated design team, can come up with customized solutions according to customers’ needs.