Natural Gas Demand Outlook to 2050

In this project the Oeko-Insitut together with Deloitte Sustainability & Climate, investigated how the future demand for natural gas will develop in Germany, the EU and on a global level. Deloitte performed its own calculations for Germany and the EU with a time horizon of 2050. These were based on a data-driven and model-based analysis, which assumes that the EU member states comply with their climate commitments. By 2030, Germany is projected to decrease by about one-third (to about 650 TWh), by more than two-thirds (to about 330 TWh) by 2040, and by almost 95 percent (to about 50 TWh) by mid-century. Modeling results show a similar trend for the EU, with a 25 percent reduction in demand already by 2030. Comparison of different energy scenarios from the literature shows that these trends align well with other scenarios that assume compliance with climate commitments.

The Oeko-Institut's comparison of scenarios for other regions and at the global level also show that natural gas is predominantly no longer seen as a transitional fuel, and that the role of natural gas in energy systems decreases, especially in the 1.5°C and 2°C compatible scenarios, at the latest between 2030 and 2040.

The combined analysis of reserves and governance indicators shows that many of the countries for which an expansion of production and transport infrastructure could be interesting from a pure reserve and diversification point of view are facing a very difficult situation in terms of governance. As a result, the enforceability of required transformation measures, which would have to be linked to such infrastructure expansion as a necessary condition, would be subject to a very high risk, and the danger of malinvestment, lock-in effects and stranded assets would be very high.