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  4. Introduction
  5. Key messages

Key messages

This year’s Energy Outlook offers 11 key messages
  • Global energy demand continues to grow, at least for a period, driven by increasing prosperity ‎and living standards in the emerging world. Significant inequalities in energy consumption and ‎access to energy persist
  • The structure of energy demand is likely to change over time: declining role of fossil fuels, offset ‎by an increasing share of renewable energy and a growing role for electricity. These changes ‎underpin core beliefs about how the structure of energy demand may change.
  • A transition to a lower carbon energy system is likely to lead to fundamental restructuring of the ‎global energy system, with a more diverse energy mix, greater consumer choice, more localized ‎energy markets, and increasing levels of integration and competition. These changes underpin ‎core beliefs about how the global energy system may restructure in a low carbon transition.‎
  • Demand for oil falls over the next 30 years. The scale and pace of this decline is driven by the ‎increasing efficiency and electrification of road transportation.
  • ‎The outlook for natural gas is more resilient than for oil, underpinned by the role of natural gas in ‎supporting fast growing developing economies as they decarbonized and reduce their reliance ‎on coal, and as a source of near-zero carbon energy when combined with Carbon Capture Use ‎and Storage (CCUS). 
  • Renewable energy, led by wind and solar power, is the fastest growing source of energy over the ‎next 30 years, supported by a significant increase in the development of – and investment in – ‎new wind and solar capacity. ‎
  • The importance of electricity in final energy consumption increases materially over the next 30 ‎years.  The carbon intensity of power generation falls markedly, driven by renewables gaining ‎share relative to coal.‎
  • The intermittency associated with the growing use of wind and solar power means a variety of ‎different technologies and solutions are needed to balance the energy system and ensure the ‎availability of firm power.‎
  • The use of hydrogen increases as the energy system progressively decarbonizes, carrying energy ‎to activities which are difficult or costly to electrify. The production of hydrogen is dominated by ‎a mix of blue and green hydrogen.‎
  • The importance of bioenergy – biofuels, biomethane and biomass – increases as consumption ‎shifts away from fossil fuels.‎
  • The world is on an unsustainable path. A rapid and sustained fall in carbon emissions is likely to ‎require a series of policy measures, led by a significant increase in carbon prices. These polices ‎may need to be reinforced by shifts in societal behaviours and preferences. Delaying these ‎policies measures and societal shifts may lead to significant economic costs and disruption.