Demand trends

It is very difficult to make accurate projections about our future energy demands. There is a long list of factors and variables that must be considered, making it nearly impossible to reach a consensus on the distribution of the energy mix in the coming decades.

DESPITE A DECLINE IN DEMAND, OIL IS LIKELY TO REPRESENT 30% OF THE EU ENERGY MIX IN 2030

Enlarge imageThe International Energy Agency (IEA) has defined an ambitious, yet realistic, New Policies Scenario (NPS) for 2030. The NPS factors in the potential effect of international and national policy plans, as well as already announced commitments for tackling energy security and environmental concerns, such as pledges to reduce GHG emissions and phase out subsidies to fossil energy. Unfortunately, the forecast lacks in detail on oil demand for certain products.

Based on the IEA’s projections, EU oil demand could decline by 11%, from 681 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe) in 2009 to 605 Mtoe in 2030. Even with this decline, it would still represent 30% of the EU energy mix in 2030. The evolution of oil demand will depend on the always evolving needs of transport, industry, heating and other uses.

Enlarge imageLooking further ahead to 2050, the European Petroleum Industry Association (EUROPIA) has extrapolated its projection based on the NPS scenario, but also considers such sources as the Commission’s PRIMES energy model and CONCAWE’s analysis (CONCAWE data is based on input from Wood McKenzie and on JEC’s –JRC, EUCAR, CONCAWE– Fleet & Fuels model). Estimates from individual oil producers and trade associations (CEFIC, Eurofuel, ATIEL and Eurobitume) are also taken into account.

It should be noted that the IEA NPS is not always 100% comparable with the CONCAWE or PRIMES predictions. This is due to the sometimes diverging assumptions behind the scenarios and the potentially different research approaches or conditions used. A comparative approach has been chosen and its limitations recognised. After all, comparing several sources helps build a more comprehensive view of how oil demand will develop up to 2030.