Expert opinions, FORECASTS

The shape of future electricity consumption

In 2019, Russia consumed a total of 1075.2 bln kW/h of energy, an increase of 13% over the past decade; by 2040, consumption is going to grow by another 20%. However, according to forecasts, Russia will still be at the bottom of the global ranking. Energy consumption in India will increase by 165%, in Brazil, by 60%, and in China, by 40%. The demand for energy depends on the country’s economy, people’s incomes, and gross domestic product. The correlation is simple: a greater wealth of the country and its citizens necessitates production of more goods, which in turn boosts the demand for electricity.

A country’s financial status, as expressed in terms of GDP or average per capita income, is in direct proportion to energy consumption: the higher the people’s prosperity, the greater the energy consumption.

For example, during the industrial revolution from the early 20th century to the 1970s, global energy consumption grew at 5% per year, or 2.5 times faster than the rate of population growth.

Also, the high energy consumption at the time was associated with low oil prices; when they spiked, it actually led to a decrease in energy demand in the US, Japan and European countries. That was also the time when the oil importing nations began thinking about reducing their oil dependence.

To do so, they adopted energy-saving policies, tried to rely on their own resources, develop nuclear energy and replace oil with natural gas. Transformation of the biggest economies resulted in curtailing energy-intensive industrial production and increasing the share of consumer services, which marked the beginning of the energy-saving era.  

Today it is the high level of energy-saving efforts and changes in the energy consumption structure that define a developed country. The majority of these countries such as Germany, Great Britain and Scandinavian countries implement solutions to cut the amount of consumed fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Solutions like energy control, smart buildings and eco-friendly transport will eventually become the main tools for energy-saving and reducing carbon emissions.

Industrial production leaders – the United States, China, South Korea and Japan – are working on increasing the energy-efficiency of vehicles and household appliances by controlling their minimal energy productivity and introducing energy-saving standards for more and more types of transport and equipment.

Developing renewable energy sources and highly efficient resource accumulation systems are also among the recent trends in modern energy industry. It is expected that by 2030, the share of solar power in Europe will increase three times, to 185 GW; the share of wind power will increase by 150%, to 255 GW, and China will decrease its dependency on coal by almost 50% of the current level.

Russia is expected to change its energy balance by 2040 as well. The share of oil will go down to 17% while the shares of nuclear and renewable energy (i.e. biofuel and hydropower) will increase from 6% to 11% and from 2% to 6%, respectively.

By Artyom Yevlanov, General Director of Intek-Stroy

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