Regional insight – North America

North America is expected to become a net energy exporting region by 2020, and to remain the world’s largest natural gas-producing region

Growth in North America energy consumption

Share of global energy consumption in 2040

Growth in North American energy production

  • Energy consumption grows slowly (+4% to 2040), with inputs to power generation (+14%) accounting for all of the net increase.
  • Among final sectors, growth in industry (+9%), buildings (+7%) and non-combusted uses (+32%) outweighs a decline in transportation (-8%).
  • Improvements in vehicle efficiency cause energy use in transport to fall by 0.4% p.a.. Consumption slows relative to 1990-2016 for transport, buildings, and power but accelerates for industry and non-combusted.
  • By fuel, growth in natural gas (+35%) and renewables including biofuels (+226%) is largely offset by declines in coal (-69%), oil (-16%) and nuclear power (-27%).
  • Natural gas and renewables see the largest growth increments. Natural gas becomes the region’s leading fuel, accounting for 41% of energy consumption, up from 32% today. Renewables (15% in 2040) also gain market share while coal and oil lose significant share (accounting for 4% and 29% of energy use, respectively, in 2040).
  • Gas overtakes coal as the largest source of power generation (by fuel input) in the next few years.
  • Regional energy production increases by 30%; growth in natural gas (+60%), renewables (+226%) and oil (+30%) more than offset declines in coal (-48%) and nuclear power (-27%).
  • North America remains the largest gas-producing region and becomes the largest LNG-exporting region. Natural gas production increases by 55 Bcf/d to 146 Bcf/d; gross LNG exports rise to 20 Bcf/d by 2040.
  • North America remains the second-largest oil-producing region (after the Middle East), and by 2025 slips to second-largest for nuclear power (after Asia).
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declines by 33% 2016-40, similar to the 36% decline seen 1990-2016.
  • Weak energy consumption combined with a shift in the fuel mix drives a decline of 16% by 2040 in CO2 emissions from energy use.

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