EIA projects Renewable energies will be the “most used” energy source in 2050, but…


“With the rapid growth in power generation, renewables – including solar, wind and hydroelectric power – are the fastest growing energy source between 2018 and 2050, overtaking oil and other liquids to become the most used energy source in the reference case. ”The US Energy Information Administration concludes in its new International energy outlook 2019. So, does this mean the world is rapidly phasing out fossil fuels? No.

In the EIA benchmark case, the share of renewable energies in global primary energy increases from 15% in 2018 to 28% in 2050. In contrast, the global shares of oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear fall by 32%, 22%, 26%. , and 5% respectively, in 2018, to 27%, 22%, 20% and 4% respectively, in 2050. However, this means that fossil fuels represent 69% of global primary energy consumption in 2050. This represents a decrease from 83%. in 2018. Nevertheless, the projected share of fossil fuels in 2050 is still nearly 2.5 times that of renewable energies.

Additionally, although the relative shares of fossil fuels are declining in the EIA’s forecast, in absolute terms, coal consumption remains relatively stable while gas and oil consumption increases. Indeed, total global energy consumption increased by almost 50% between 2018 and 2050.

Most of the growth is concentrated in developing countries, particularly in Asia. Global energy consumption is expected to increase significantly in all sectors: industrial (30%), transport (40%), buildings (65%) and power generation (79%).

In the baseline scenario, “the global consumption of renewable energies increases by 3.1% per year between 2018 and 2050, against 0.6% annual growth for petroleum and other liquids, 0.4% for coal and 1.1% for annual natural gas consumption. So, although all renewable energies combined provide a larger share of the world’s energy than oil in 2050, the amount of oil consumed increases by 20%. In addition, the amount of natural gas consumed increases by 40% while the amount of coal consumed remains relatively stable.


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