The scenarios have some common features, such as ongoing economic growth and a shift towards a lower-carbon fuel mix, but differ in terms of policy, technology or behavioral assumptions.
For example, the Evolving transition scenario assumes that government policies, technology and social preferences continue to evolve in the manner and at the speed seen over the recent past.
In this scenario:
- The United States becomes energy self-sufficient by 2020 and maintains its position as the world’s largest producer of liquid fuels and natural gas through 2040.
- Natural gas becomes America’s leading fuel, accounting for 37 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2040, up from 28 percent today.
- The share of renewables in the U.S. fuel mix grows from 6 percent today to 18 percent in 2040.
- U.S. natural gas demand surpasses oil in the early 2030s; renewables surpass coal in the late 2020s.
- Overall U.S. energy production grows by 29 percent out to 2040.
- Overall U.S. energy consumption drops by 1 percent out to 2040.
- U.S. energy production as a share of consumption rises from 89 percent in 2017 to 115 percent in 2040.
- By fuel, growth in consumption of renewables (up by 199 percent) and natural gas (up by 29 percent) is offset by declines in consumption of coal (down by 58 percent), oil (down by 18 percent) and nuclear power (down by 46 percent).
- Energy intensity (the amount of energy per unit of GDP) declines by 36 percent from 2017 to 2040, in line with the decline from 1995 to 2017 and with the global decline out to 2040.
- Flat energy consumption and the shift in the fuel mix drive a decline in America’s energy-related CO2 emissions, which fall by 20 percent out to 2040.