Energy demand and economic growth to decouple for first time in 2035

Global energy demand will plateau after 2035 despite a strong economic and population expansion, researchers at McKinsey Energy Insights have predicted.

This will be the first time in history that growth in GDP and energy demand decouple, and will come largely because of renewables substituting inefficient fossil fuel-based technologies.

The researchers forecast global GDP growth to double between 2016 and 2050 while primary energy demand increases by just 14%.

They predict renewables to be a cheaper energy source than coal after 2035, accounting for more than half of the global power supply, but that a decline in carbon emissions will still not be enough to limit global warming to 2˚C by 2050. 

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