The global energy landscape has experienced substantial changes over the last 25 years, with much larger changes potentially in store in the future. This report provides an analysis of long-term energy projections from governmental, intergovernmental, and private organizations using a unique methodology that allows for “apples-to-apples” comparisons. These projections agree that—absent ambitious climate policies—global energy consumption will grow 20–30% or more through 2040 and beyond, led largely by fossil fuels. This growth is driven by population and economic growth in the global “East,” while energy consumption in the “West” remains roughly flat. The global economy becomes more energy efficient over time, though carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions continue to grow unless there is a shift in current policy and technology trends. Renewable energy, led by wind and solar power, grow rapidly, though they primarily add to, rather than displace, fossil fuels unless more ambitious climate policies are put into place. Electricity plays an ever-growing role in final energy consumption, and while electric vehicles also play an important role in the future of transportation, their effect is more likely to restrain the growth of, rather than lead to a decline in, global oil demand over the next two decades. Under ambitious climate scenarios, the global economy becomes much more energy efficient, global coal consumption declines by more than half relative to current levels, oil use falls by up to 20%, natural gas increases modestly, nuclear energy grows by more than 50%, renewables more than double, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are deployed at scale by 2040.
The GEO Data Tool and Methodology Report
Global Energy Outlook
The definitive comparative analysis of global energy projections, featuring the GEO data tool.
Report — Jul 1, 2019
Global Energy Outlook Comparison Methods: 2019 Update
We update a harmonization methodology previously developed in 2015 to facilitate comparisons of long-term global energy projections.