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Global insight – Rapid transition

Global energy consumption grows by around one-fifth and CO2 emissions half of current levels. Renewables amount to almost one-third of total primary energy in 2040

Highlights

0.8% increase

Annual growth in global energy consumption

29%

Share of renewables in primary energy consumption

18%

Proportion of CO2 emissions from power sector in 2040


Renewables increase eightfold over the Outlook, offsetting the decline in coal and oil consumption.
 
The consumption of natural gas increases around 40% from 2017, becoming the second largest energy source.
 
Power generation increases around 60% due to an accelerated process of electrification.

 

Projections

  • In the Rapid transition scenario world energy demand increases by one-fifth from 2017 to 2040, compared with an increase of one-third in the Evolving transition scenario.
  • Energy intensity decreases by around 40%, but it cannot fully offset the increase in energy demand due to higher prosperity.
  • OECD economies have a small decrease in energy consumption over the Outlook (-0.3% p.a.), while developing economies show a relative solid growth of 1.6% p.a..
  • Natural gas grows consistently and becomes the second largest energy source after renewables.
  • Oil demand in 2040 decreases by 14 Mb/d. However, biofuels grow by 4 Mb/d.
  • Global coal consumption declines substantially (-71%). In OECD economies it becomes a marginal energy source (1% of total primary energy consumption).  
  • Solar and wind energy grow exponentially (around 14% and 10% p.a., respectively), ranking 3rd and 4th in terms of the largest primary energy sources.
  • The growth in power (2% p.a.) outpaces the growth in total energy consumption (0.8% p.a.), as a result of a strong electrification process.
  • Non-combusted is the sector with the strongest increase in demand (+48%) followed by buildings (+36%), transport (+17%) and industry (10%).
  • CO2 emissions from energy use decline by 46% by 2040. Among end-use sectors in 2040, transport and industry contribute around 40% of CO2 emissions, while buildings contribute just over 20%.
  • Carbon capture, usage and store (CCUS) plays a significant role in the decarbonization of the energy system. CCUS accounts for one-third of the reduction in CO2 emissions.