By 2040, according to the IEA, worldwide demand for natural gas will increase by about 1.6% annually. In that year it should be about 45% higher than now. China, which is currently the world's largest importer of oil and coal, will make a major contribution to this. The IEA predicts a rapid growth in gas demand in that country, with Chinese net imports reaching the level of the European Union by 2040. Although China is currently the third largest consumer of natural gas in the world after the US and Russia, about 40% of consumption needs to be imported for insufficient domestic production.
The demand for gas will also cover other Asian economies. This growing demand for this raw material should account for about half of these raw materials in the next 20 years and their share of total LNG imports should reach 60% by 2040. This is about double the current level.
"Although it is premature to compare the world gas market with oil, LNG trade has risen sharply since 2010 and has ended up in isolated markets in the past," the IEA said in a report.
There is also an increase in the demand for electricity, mainly due to the increased use of this resource in industrialized countries. Generally, electricity demand would increase by 2.1% annually.
Coal and renewable resources are gradually changing positions in the energy mix, the IEA said. According to the Agency's estimate, the share of coal should fall from around 40% to around 25% by 2040, or conversely, renewable sources would increase their share from 25% to more than 40% at present.