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Global insight – Evolving transition

Global energy consumption grows by around one-third over the Outlook; energy intensity falls faster than at any time since at least 1965, and the energy mix shifts towards lower carbon fuels

Highlights

1.2% increase

Annual growth in global energy consumption

50%

Contribution of renewables to primary energy growth

40%

Proportion of CO2 emissions from power sector in 2040


Renewables are the fastest growing fuel source, nearly quintupling over the Outlook.
 
Oil and gas account for more than half of global energy in 2040, down from 57% today.
 
Coal’s share of power generation declines from 40% in 2017 to nearly one-quarter in 2040.

 

Projections

  • In the Evolving transition scenario world energy demand increases by one-third from 2017 to 2040.
  • All of this growth comes from developing economies, with emerging Asia (India, China and other developing Asia) accounting for two-thirds of the increase.
  • Nearly half of the growth in energy consumption comes from industrial uses (combusted and non-combusted); just over a third from buildings; and about a sixth from transport.
  • Natural gas grows robustly, overtaking coal as the second largest source of energy by the mid-2020s and converging on oil by the end of the Outlook. Natural gas contributes around a third of the increase in primary energy.
  • Demand for oil and other liquid fuels increases by 10 Mb/d (to 108 Mb/d). Most of that growth happens during the first 10 years with demand broadly plateauing in the 2030s.
  • Non-combusted use of liquid fuels (7 Mb/d) is the main source of demand growth, followed by transport (6 MB/d).        
  • Global coal consumption is broadly flat (-0.1%), with falls in China and the OECD offset by increases in India and other developing Asia.
  • Renewables and natural gas are the only energy sources whose share in primary energy increases over the Outlook, and together account for 85% of the increase. Renewables share rises from 4% today to 15% by 2040.
  • Global oil production becomes geographically more concentrated as low-cost producers gain share. The Middle East, US, and Russia account for two-thirds of oil production in 2040, up from 60% in 2017.
  • The US, the Middle East and Russia account for 60% of the gas production increase. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) more than doubles, driven by the US and the Middle East, overtaking gas shipped inter-regionally by pipeline.
  • CO2 emissions from energy use rise by 7% by 2040. In 2040, 46% of CO2 emissions are from the industrial sector; the transport and buildings sectors contribute just over a quarter each.