GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050
The GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050 is an annual flagship publication of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
The 7th edition of the GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050 outlines critical trends in global energy, focusing on population growth, economic shifts, and policies. The world’s population is expected to increase by almost a quarter from 7.9 billion people in 201 to 9.7 in 2050. Africa and the Asia Pacific are set to account for around 90% of the total population growth.
The energy crisis in 2022 elevated energy security and affordability as top priorities. Policymakers emphasised domestic energy production, diversification, and energy conservation. Natural gas gained support as a partner to renewables, providing back up to gurantee the stability of the power system.
Global primary energy demand is projected to rise by 22%, reaching 17,865 Mtoe by 2050. Natural gas is set to increase its share in the energy mix from 23% to 26%. It is expected to overtake coal post-2040, driven by power generation, renewables, and blue hydrogen generation.
Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to lead future natural gas demand growth, while Europe experiences a declining trend due to the REPowerEU plan. Natural gas production is forecasted to increase by 36%, with the Middle East becoming the world's second-largest producer by 2050.
Global natural gas trade is anticipated to rise by 36%, exceeding 1,700 bcm by 2050, led by LNG. Asia Pacific is set to retain its leading role in LNG imports. The EU plans to centralise LNG in its diversification strategy, but LNG industry investments are expected to decline after 2030.
To meet growing natural gas demand, a hefty upstream investment of US$9.7 trillion is required by 2050. Africa and the Middle East are set to require substantial investments to increase gas production. Asia Pacific is poised to see the most significant midstream investment, focusing on LNG regasification infrastructure.
Africa, with its young and fast-growing population, is projected to play a crucial role in the growth of energy demand. The Energy Sustainability Scenario (ESS) envisions robust economic and energy growth in Africa, emphasising the role of natural gas and renewables. The Accelerated Energy Decarbonisation Scenario (AEDS) explores aggressive decarbonisation means, with natural gas playing a pivotal role in achieving emission reduction targets.
In summary, the 7th edition of the GECF Global Gas Outlook emphasises the global importance of natural gas in meeting energy demand amid population growth and economic expansion. It underscores the role of Africa in energy growth and explores alternative scenarios for a more sustainable and decarbonised energy future.
The synopsis versions of the current and previous Outlooks are available on this page: