Energy Demand & Population Evaluation – Future Projections

In this age, with advanced technology that entered our lives, energy has become an essential element more than ever. The batteries, phones, computers, lighting simply electricity related objects require an energy in order to have their duties. The nations are built their own cities, factories, plants, and utilities to proceed continuity and to develop community itself. Moreover,  energy and its problem became an issue since the energy-demand-rise as a cause of an over population.

The population growth is increasing rapidly. (Refer: Below World Population Growth, 1750-2100) And if the death ratio is smaller than the growth ratio, cumulatively the world population will be increased as a result. On the other hand, energy demand is expected to be higher from today. Every living creature requires some fundamental needs such as eating, feeding, sleeping,  moving etc.. to survive on this planet. To supply fundamental and additional needs, energy is needed.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report;

The global urban population is expected to grow approximately 1.84% per year between 2015 and 2020, 1.63% per year between 2020 and 2025, and 1.44% per year between 2025 and 2030.

Referring to the “U.S. Energy Information Administration | International Energy Outlook 2016” annual report, as can be shown in below Figure 1-1 World Energy Consumption [1990-2040], total consumption of the energy will be increased in next decades as in projection. (refer: Energy Information Administration)

On the other hand, Figure ES-1 and Figure ES-2 provides which country & source contribution have been projected in a decade based.

figure_1-1.figure_1 and 2

Consumption Table – History & Projection [quadrillion BTU]

History 1990 154,94 201,06
2000 173,59 236,21
2012 310,83 238,44
Projections 2020 375,01 253,94
2030 450,50 267,23
2040 532,84 282,12

According to Consumption Table given above;

  • In 2016 approx. 600 Quadrillion BTU which equals to (600*0,293*10^15) = 175,8 PWh (Peta Watt Hour) has been consumed.  (Note: 1 BTU= 0,293 Wh)
    • In 2016, approx. 7.4 Billion people lived.
    • If we try to calculate per person energy consumption in 2016 is 23,76 Mega Watt/person.
  • In 2040 projection, the outcome is approx. 800 Quadrillion BTU which 234,4 PWh.
    • In 2040, approx. 9.2 Billion population is expected.
    • If we try to calculate per person energy consumption in 2040 is 25,47 Mega Watt/person.
  • If electricity consumption considered,  approx. 23 PWh is consumed in 2016.
    • 3100 kWh/person is the ratio of per person consumed energy in 2016. (electricity based)
  • If electricity consumption considered,  approx. 36 PWh is expected to be consumed in 2040.
    • 3910 kWh/person is the expected ratio of per person consumed energy in 2040. (electricity based)

When population growth and world energy today & projection values have been compared, below Consumption Energy & Electricity Table and Yearly Based Consumption Comparison Graph can tell the difference according to the above calculations. 2016-2040 comparison proves the growth of the population and energy demand increase. As a result of the projections, there will be consequences.

Consumption Energy & Electricity Table – History & Projection [kWh/person]

Energy Consumption [kWh/person] Electricity Consumption [kWh/person]
2016 23760 3100
2040 25470 3910


According to the IEO2016 World Chapter Report;

Electricity consumption by end users grows faster than their use of other delivered energy sources in the Reference case, as has been true for the past several decades. Net electricity generation worldwide rises by 1.9%/year on average from 2012 to 2040, with the strongest growth in non-OECD countries. Increases in non-OECD electricity generation average 2.5%/year in the IEO2016 Reference case as rising living standards increase demand for home appliances and electronic devices as well as for commercial services, including hospitals, schools, office buildings, and retail and grocery stores. In the OECD nations, where infrastructures are more mature and population growth is relatively slow or declining, electric power generation increases by an average of 1.2%/ year from 2012 to 2040.

In my opinion, there will be positive and negative impacts related to the growth projections:


  1. Technologic developments
  2. Robotics & Computing
  3. Process healings
  4. Digitalization
  5. High Standards & Comforting
  6. Informative Data Accessibility
  7. Renewable Energy usage increase
  8. Sustainable models will be applied


  1. Minimal life according to the community population
  2. Per Person energy need will be increased, as a result of that, more energy sources will be consumed.
  3. High prices will come forward for stocks and consumed electricity.
  4. City and it’s infrastructure will come across with conflict if it is not well designed!
  5. Unemployment will be increased, as a fact of digitalization, robotics, and overpopulation.
  6. Energy management complexity will be increased.
  7. There will be additions (cost) to the current electricity network for distributed generation and the connection points.
  8. The other social classes will be eliminated. There will be service&maintance sector and IT sector that will run the business.

In brief, the major changes are awaiting future projections. Only the problems can be fixed when we invest the time to build our future to become greater. Well said by Benjamin Franklin – “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Written by: Onur Karmis

About onurkarmis

Electrical Engineer | Technology Seeker
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