The strength and composition of energy growth over the next 30 years depends importantly on how that energy is used across the main sectors of the economy.
The industrial sector (excluding the non-combusted use of fuels) consumed around 45% of global energy in 2018, with the non-combusted use of fuels accounting for an additional 5% or so. The remainder was used within residential and commercial buildings (29%) and transport (21%).
The outlook for primary energy also depends on the form in which that energy is used at the final point of consumption. In particular, although it is possible to decarbonize the production of electricity and hydrogen, they require considerable amounts of primary energy to produce. As such, increasing the use of these forms of energy carriers tends to boost primary energy.
In Rapid, the growth in primary energy used in all three sectors slows relative to the past 20 years. This deceleration is most pronounced in the industrial and buildings sectors, with the use of primary energy in both sectors falling in the second half of the Outlook. In contrast, primary energy used in transport increases throughout the Outlook – accounting for nearly 60% of the total increase in primary energy in Rapid – boosted by greater switching to electricity and hydrogen. This hydrogen can be used either directly or combined with carbon or nitrogen to make it easier to transport.
The use of electricity and hydrogen expand by even more in Net Zero, particularly in transport and industry. As a result, even though the pace of underlying efficiency gains in both sectors is faster than in Rapid, the increase in primary energy is somewhat greater. Primary energy used in buildings by 2050 is largely unchanged from its current level.
In contrast, the use of primary energy increases materially in all three sectors in BAU, albeit significantly slower than in the past 20 years. This deceleration is most marked in industry and transport, with energy use in buildings and the non-combusted sector together accounting for around half of the increase in primary energy consumption.