The increase in natural gas consumption will also be boosted by the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel in vehicles, maritime transportation and railroads.

However, the application of natural gas in these fields faces material challenges: the development of an infrastructure to fuel vehicles and ships may take several years, and the use of LNG in locomotives requires large upfront costs for a sector that is characterized by a slow inventory replacement.

The World Energy Outlook forecasts that coal consumption will increase globally by 10% by 2040 due to a tripling in coal demand in India and Southeast Asia.

Asian demand will balance the drop in consumption in OECD countries, especially in Europe and the United States. However, more stringent environmental policies in China could reverse this trend and cause global coal consumption to decline.

Increasing investment in renewable energy technology will lower the costs of production and make this source of energy more competitive.

In 2014 almost half of new power generation plants were powered by renewable energy, which became the second largest source of electricity.

The IEA forecasts that, by 2040, renewable power generation will reach a share of 50% in the European Union, 30% in China, and 25% in the United States. Most electrical plants in OECD countries will be powered by natural gas or renewables rather than coal.

 

Francesco Stipo is an American author and expert in international affairs. He is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and was formerly the president of the U.S. Association of the Club of Rome, a global think tank. 

 

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