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Global insights

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

1.3% increase

Annual growth in global energy consumption

43%

Renewables' contribution to global primary energy growth

37% decrease

Decline in energy use per unit of GDP

Projections

  • World energy demand is projected to grow by 1.3% p.a. from 2016 to 2040. All of this growth comes from emerging economies, with China and India each accounting for over a quarter the increase.
  • Global energy intensity (the ratio of energy demand to GDP) is projected to decline by 1.9% p.a. over this period – faster than in any 25-year period since our data began in 1965.
  • 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.
  • Renewables provide 43% of the growth in energy over the Outlook; their share in primary energy rises from 4% today to 14% by 2040.
  • Solar (+11.1% p.a.) and wind (+6.9% p.a.) are the fastest growing sources of energy. Their combined share of global power generation increases from 5% to 21% by 2040.
  • Gas (+1.6% p.a.) overtakes coal to become the second-largest global energy source by 2025.
  • Oil (+0.5% p.a.) remains the leading global fuel but plateaus from around 2030. Coal demand peaks in the mid-2020s, leaving the level of coal use in 2040 barely 1% higher than in 2016.
  • Global oil demand increases by around 11 Mb/d to reach 105 Mb/d by 2040. The growth of demand is roughly equally split between the transport sector and non-combusted uses.
  • Global oil production becomes geographically more concentrated as low-cost producers gain share. The Middle East, US, and Russia account for 69% of oil production in 2040, up from 60% in 2016.
  • Unconventional gas accounts for more than half of the growth in global gas supplies over the Outlook and almost a third of global gas supplies by 2040.
  • Liquefied natural gas more than doubles over the Outlook, overtaking gas shipped inter-regionally by pipeline.
  • CO2 emissions from energy use continue to grow, rising by 10% by 2040.