World electricity consumption to nearly double in 20 years

Washington, D.C.

The world`s use of energy will continue its rapid growth at least to the year 2020, particularly in the developing nations, according to the Energy Information Administration`s (EIA) “International Energy Outlook 2000” (IEO2000). Under current policies, EIA estimates overall energy consumption will rise 60 percent from 1997 to 2020. Faster than average growth is expected for the developing nations (121 percent), world natural gas use (104 percent), and world net electricity consumption (76 percent).

Report highlights include:

– World electricity consumption increases by 76 percent, from 12 trillion kWh in 1997 to 22 trillion kWh in 2020. Long-term growth in electricity consumption is expected to be strongest in the developing countries of Asia, followed by those of Central and South America. Those two regions alone account for 52 percent of the world`s net electricity consumption increment in the IEO2000 reference case

– Rapid growth in population and income, along with greater industrialization and more widespread household electrification are responsible for the increase.

– To a large extent, future growth in the world`s electricity generation will depend upon progress made in connecting more of the world`s population to national electricity grids. Electricity de-mand and investment in the electric power sector infrastructure have responded positively to the recent net improvement in global economic conditions and to the movement toward privatization in many parts of the world.

– Natural gas is projected to be the fastest-growing component of primary world energy consumption, more than doubling between 1997 and 2020. Gas accounts for the largest increment in electricity generation (41 percent of the total increment of energy used for electricity generation). Combined-cycle gas turbine power plants offer some of the highest commercially available plant efficiencies. Natural gas is also environmentally attractive because it emits less sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter than does oil or coal.

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