November 10, 2023

When Will Global Fossil Fuel Demand Peak? The Prediction is 2030

By Ana Stosberg

Research professor at NYU’s School of Professional Studies and Director of the Energy, Climate Justice, and Sustainability Lab, Amy Myers Jaffe, spoke to Brad Plumer of The New York Times on the predicted demand in global energy. Read the full article here.

The current energy landscape and oil prices differ vastly from previous decades, such as in the 1970s. “People would have to suffer through price spikes,” said Amy Myers Jaffe. The reliance on fossil fuels has always been an evolving problem, but alternatives such as electric cars, solar panels, and the flexibility of remote work have tremendously decreased the demand and effect of high energy prices. Jaffe continues, “When prices are high, we can see a quicker drop-off in demand now than we did in the 1970s. It's a very different world.” Jaffe emphasizes the changing needs of humanity as we are adapting to lean off fossil fuels. 

However, it is essential to recognize that even if the demand for fossil fuels plateaus in the coming decade, this does not entirely make the road to recovery from global warming any easier according to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook report. Even with this latest prediction of global energy reaching a new height, “the world will still need much more stringent climate policies to prevent global warming…” says Plumer. As the IEA underscores, some possibilities for reducing the impact of global warming on our planet may include investments to advance electric grids and nuclear power along with possible bans on gasoline-powered vehicles.

Amy Myers Jaffe recognizes that a transformation in the type of energy being used worldwide is already underway, proven by an increase in reliance on renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and the potential for electric heating systems to surpass traditional gas and oil furnaces.

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