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Country insight – US

Published:
14 March 2022
US emissions fall by over half from 2019 levels by 2050 in all scenarios due to decarbonization of transport and power. Natural gas and coal’s share of power generation declines in all scenarios by 2050

Highlights

14% to 27%

decline in primary energy in 2019-2050

35% to 71%

share of renewables in primary energy in 2050

0.7% to 0.9%

annual growth in electricity consumption in 2019-2050

-28% to -51%

reduction in net CO₂e emissions by 2030 relative to 2005

In all three scenarios US primary energy consumption grows in the short term but falls from 2025-2050 

Renewable energy grows strongly in all the scenarios, becoming the largest energy source in Accelerated and Net Zero 

The US becomes a major producer and consumer of hydrogen in the Accelerated and Net Zero scenarios

 

Projections

  • Primary energy grows in all three scenarios in the short term but by 2050 it falls across all scenarios by 14%-27%.
  • Oil demand rises in the short term from almost 20 Mb/d in 2019 but falls to a range of 3-12 Mb/d by 2050. Biofuels increases its share in liquids demand from 5% in 2019 to over 30% by 2050 in Net Zero.
  • Reductions in road transport and the power sector decrease US emissions by 28% and 43% by 2030 vs. 2005 in New Momentum and Accelerated, falling short of the US’ NDC targets of a 50%-52% reduction. By 2050, net emissions fall below 0 in Net Zero and fall by 90% from 2019 levels in Accelerated and by 50% in New Momentum.
  • The 5.7 Gt decline in net CO₂e emissions in Net Zero accounts for 15% of global reductions, which is the second largest by any country.
  • Electricity demand increases from 21% of final consumption to reach 32% in New Momentum, and 48% and 57% in Accelerated and Net Zero, respectively.
  • The share of wind and solar in total generation grows strongly in all scenarios from 9% in 2019 to 52%-70%. 
  • Gas accounts for a third of US primary energy today and stays stable in New Momentum but falls to 19% and 10% in Accelerated and Net Zero, respectively, by 2050. Gas is displaced by electricity in the residential sector, and renewables take a more prominent role in the power sector.
  • The US remains a net oil and gas exporter, albeit more so in New Momentum and Accelerated. Oil supply peaks at around 20 Mb/d between 2025-30 in all scenarios, and the US share of global LNG trade doubles from around 10% in 2019 to over 20% by 2050.
  • Hydrogen supply grows from around 8.8 Mt today to a range of 15-57 Mt by 2050. In the Net Zero scenario, US hydrogen accounts for 13% of global supply. CCUS grows strongly across all scenarios and reaches 0.7-0.8 Gt in Accelerated and Net Zero.