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Ranges of predicted changes in global demand in Assessed 2oC Scenarios

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Ranges of predicted changes in global demand in Assessed 2oC Scenarios

The Assessed 2oC Scenarios produce a variety of views on the potential impacts on global energy demand in total and by specific types of energy, with a range of possible growth rates for each type of energy (above chart). Since it is impossible to know which elements, if any, of these models are correct, we used an average of all 13 scenarios to approximate growth rates for the various energy types as a means to estimate trends to 2040 indicative of hypothetical 2oC pathways.

On a worldwide basis, based on the average of the Assessed 2oC Scenarios’ growth rates, primary energy demand is projected to increase about 0.5 percent per year on average from 2010 to 2040. Expected changes in demand vary by energy type by model. Based on the average of the growth rates:

  • Oil demand is generally projected to decline about 0.4 percent per year.
  • Natural gas demand is expected to increase about 0.9 percent per year.
  • The outlook for coal is the most negative, with diverse projections showing an average decline of about 2.4 percent per year, or about a 50 percent decline by 2040.
  • The average annual growth rates for renewable energies and nuclear are generally quite strong, averaging between 4 and 4.5 percent for nonbioenergy (e.g., hydro, wind, solar) and bioenergy, and about 3 percent for nuclear.

This chart illustrates model results of the 13 scenarios showing how energy demand is projected to grow or decline by energy type through 2040.

All energy sources remain important across all 13 scenarios though the mix of energy and technology shifts over time. Oil and natural gas remain important energy types across all 13 scenarios, with oil demand projected to decline modestly, and much more slowly than its natural rate of decline from existing fields, and natural gas demand growing due to its many advantages.

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