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Executive summary

The demand for energy is set to increase significantly driven by increases in prosperity in the developing world


The Energy Outlook considers different aspects of the energy transition and the key issues and uncertainties these raise. In all the scenarios considered, world GDP more than doubles by 2040 driven by increasing prosperity in fast-growing developing economies.


In the Evolving transition (ET) scenario this improvement in living standards causes energy demand to increase by around a third over the Outlook, driven by India, China and Other Asia which together account for two-thirds of the increase. Despite this increase in energy demand, around two-thirds of the world’s population in 2040 still live in countries where average energy consumption per head is relatively low, highlighting the need for ‘more energy’.


Energy consumed within industry and buildings accounts for around three-quarters of the increase in energy demand.


Growth in transport demand slows sharply relative to the past, as gains in vehicle efficiency accelerate. The share of passenger vehicle kilometres powered by electricity increases to around 25% by 2040, supported by the growing importance of fully-autonomous cars and shared-mobility services.


Primary energy increases

The world continues to electrify, with around three-quarters of the increase in primary energy absorbed by the power sector.


  • Renewable energy is the fastest growing source of energy, contributing half of the growth in global energy supplies and becoming the largest source of power by 2040.
  • Demand for oil and other liquid fuels grows for the first part of the Outlook before gradually plateauing. The increase in liquids production is initially dominated by US tight oil, but OPEC production subsequently increases as US tight oil declines.
  • Natural gas grows robustly, supported by broad-based demand and the increasing availability of gas, aided by the continuing expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Global coal consumption is broadly flat, with falls in Chinese and OECD consumption offset by increases in India and Other Asia.


In the Evolving transition scenario, carbon emissions continue to rise, signalling the need for a comprehensive set of policy measures to achieve ‘less carbon’.


The Outlook considers a range of alternative scenarios, including the need for ‘more energy’, ‘less carbon’ and the possible impact of an escalation in trade disputes.