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Saudi minister says global energy demand expected to jump 45% by 2050

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih arrives for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016.
Heinz-Peter Bader | Reuters
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih arrives for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016.

Saudi Arabia's minister of energy said population growth and rising living standards across most of the developing world would see energy demand continue to soar in the coming decades.

"Energy demand is expected to rise by about 45 percent by the year 2050, that is a huge amount of new energy supply that needs to be provided," Khalid al-Falih said at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon.

While new energy will continue to gain ground, the same sources that dominated the past will continue to account for the lion's share of supplies for the foreseeable future, he added.

"By 2050 — surprisingly to many of us — (renewables) will only account for about 10 percent of the primary energy demand, and this is despite a very rapid growth rate," al-Falih, who is also chairman of Saudi Aramco, added.

"Petroleum, natural gas, and coal will continue to account for about 75 percent of the supply of energy by 2050."