Energy Future

Forget 'Peak Oil': We could reach 'Peak Demand' for energy before 2030

Anmar Frangoul | Special to
Mehul | Moment | Getty Images

A new report from the World Energy Council has found that per capita energy demand will peak in the next decade or so.

The report, launched at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, states that "unprecedented efficiencies created by new technologies and more stringent energy policies" would see primary energy demand growth diminish and per capita energy demand peak before 2030.

World Energy Scenarios 2016 – The Grand Transition, was produced by the WEC "in collaboration" with Accenture Strategy and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

"It is clear that we are undergoing a Grand Transition, which will create a fundamentally new world for the energy industry," Ged Davis, executive chair of scenarios at the World Energy Council, said in a news release.

"Historically people have talked about Peak Oil but now disruptive trends are leading energy experts to consider the implications of Peak Demand," Davis added.

Three scenarios for the world's energy future were looked at. The WEC said its findings indicated, among other things, that demand for electricity would double by 2060; that the "phenomenal rise of solar and wind energy" would continue at an "unprecedented rate"; and that the use of fossil fuels could fall to as low as 50 percent of the world's "primary energy mix."

"By 2060, all scenarios point to an increase in demand for gas, as well as a possible peak demand for oil within the 2035-2045 timeframe," Nuri Demirdoven, managing director at Accenture Strategy, said in the same news release.

"Misspending including misallocation of capital has always been a risk for energy assets, and will continue to grow due to fundamental shifts in the industry," Demirdoven added.

"Leading companies across all scenarios will be those that adapt quickly and take two urgent steps: rethink the balance of their energy portfolio, and utilize business and digital technologies to transform how they deliver work and organize and manage performance across their businesses."