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.