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Demand and supply of energy sources

Renewables lead the transition to a lower carbon energy mix

Shares of primary energy – renewables
Shares of primary energy – renewables
Shares of primary energy – hydrocarbons
Shares of primary energy – hydrocarbons
Primary energy consumption by source
Primary energy consumption by source

The growth in primary energy over the Outlook is dominated by renewable energy, as the world ‎shifts towards lower carbon energy sources.‎


Renewable energy – including wind, solar, geothermal and bioenergy but excluding ‎hydroelectricity (see Renewables) – increases more than 10-fold in both Rapid and Net Zero, with its ‎share in primary energy rising from 5% in 2018 to over 40% by 2050 in Rapid and almost 60% in ‎Net Zero. Although the growth of renewables is less pronounced in BAU, they still account for ‎around 90% of the overall increase in primary energy over the next 30 years (Renewables). ‎


The increasing importance of renewable energy comes at the expense of hydrocarbons whose ‎share of primary energy declines from close to 85% in 2018 to around 40% by 2050 in Rapid and ‎‎20% in Net Zero. ‎


Within hydrocarbons, natural gas has the most durable outlook, with its level in Rapid in 2050 ‎broadly unchanged from its current level and around 35% higher in BAU. Consumption of natural ‎gas falls by around 40% by 2050 in Net Zero (Gas). ‎


The level of oil demand in both Rapid and Net Zero does not fully recover from the sharp drop ‎caused by Covid-19, with demand falling by around 50% by 2050 in Rapid and almost 80% in Net ‎Zero. The outlook for oil is more resilient in BAU, with demand in 2050 declining slightly from its ‎current level (Oil). ‎


Coal consumption declines significantly in all three scenarios, particularly in Rapid and Net Zero ‎in which it falls by well over 80% by 2050 (Coal).‎


The way in which the pronounced falls in the demand for oil, natural gas and coal in Net Zero are ‎matched on the supply side by the countries and regions which produce these forms of energy is ‎very uncertain and not explored in detail in this section. ‎