I read an article by a think tank today that indicated that electricity use was going to keep falling in the future.
I can agree with that under 2 conditions:
a) There is no population growth.
b) There are no new uses for electricity.
Neither is true, but energy efficiency is helping the world do the same work with less electricity.
The problems are:
1) Global population is growing.
2) The global standard of living is increasing.
3) Many people are migrating to higher standard of living countries.
4) We want to decarbonize buildings.
5) We want to electrify transportation.
6) The population wants to be more mobile, even in day-to-day living.
7) New uses for electricity are easy to find (think AI, which wants 10s of Gigawatts of new data centers)
Transportation needs for electricity will add 40-64% to our use of electricity in North America by 2045, if we continue the current policy path.
Heavy industry decarbonization will add another 10-15% to that number, and if we re-shore much of our manufacturing the numbers will likely be 40% overall increase.
Building decarbonization will add another 20-25% to our energy needs, even planning for efficiency gains in heat pumps that exceed what has been realized in the last 20 years.
No peak electricity is not close to happening.
By 2050 we likely will need twice the electricity we do today globally and maybe 3 times, depending on how fast we electrify the billion people who do not have regular access to electricity.
Then there is the question of where will the engineers and lineman come from to build an maintain this machine?