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China should spur global gas demand growth by 2024

10 Jun 2019

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global gas demand should continue to increase over the next five years, spurred by a dynamic demand in Asia and by the steady development of the international gas trade. Gas consumption would then rise by 10% between 2018 and 2024 (around +1.6%/year).

The growth would be driven by Asian countries, with China accounting for more than 40% of the global growth. Gas demand in China, which rose by 18% in 2018, is expected to slow down through 2024 as a result of a slower economic growth. Yet, it should remain steady at around +8%/year, in line with the government's policies to shift its power mix from coal to gas to improve air quality. Gas demand should also grow significantly in South Asia. In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, gas demand will be driven by the industrial sector (especially for fertiliser production). Global gas demand will also be propelled by the United States, the Middle East and North Africa, but the growth will be limited in Europe (the expansion of renewables and lower heating demand will offset the closure of coal-fired and nuclear power plants).

Overall, industrial demand is expected to increase by around 3%/year, accounting for half of the global consumption growth though 2024. Power generation would remain the largest gas consuming sector, but the growth in its gas demand would be slower, owing to the strong competition from coal and renewables.

The development of gas - and especially LNG - trade will help boost global gas demand. Investments in LNG projects recovered in 2018 after several years of decline.

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