(Bloomberg) China and the Middle East, spurred by lower prices and ample supply, will drive global natural gas demand growth in the next 25 years as consumption in Europe fails to recover to peak levels seen in 2010, according to the International Energy Agency.
Both regions will become larger gas users than Europe by 2035, the Paris-based IEA said in its World Energy Outlook 2015. Global demand for gas, a cleaner-burning fuel for power generation than coal, will rise 1.4 percent a year to 5.16 trillion cubic meters (182 trillion cubic feet) in 2040, making it the fastest-growing fossil fuel. The agency forecast 1.6 percent annual growth to 5.38 trillion cubic meters in last year’s World Energy Outlook.
“With gas prices already low in North America, and dragged lower elsewhere by ample supply and contractual linkages to oil prices, there is plenty of competitively priced gas seeking buyers in the early part of the Outlook,” the IEA said.
Gas will account for 24 percent of power generation by 2040, up from 21 percent in 2013, as the share of dirtier coal falls to 30 percent from 41 percent. The fuel is also being used to spare use of oil and back up renewable energy generation.