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Country insight – US

The rapid increase in renewables generation sharply reduces coal’s share in the US power mix

Highlights

-4% to -30%

Decline in primary energy 2020-2050

15%

Share of global hydrogen consumption in 2050

56% to 69%

Share of renewables in power generation by 2050

Under Business-as-usual (BAU) oil demand in the US peaked in 2019, and under ?Net Zero it drops over 80% by 2050?
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Efficiency plays a key role in the US’s decarbonization, with primary energy ?declining 30% over the outlook under Rapid
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The US becomes a major producer and consumer of hydrogen under Rapid and ?Net Zero

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Projections

  • The US economy grows at a rate of 1.7% ?per annum 2018-2050, down from ??2.5% from 1990-2018?. Primary energy consumption in the US ?declines by more than a quarter in ?Rapid and Net Zero, primarily ?reflecting efficiency measures in ?buildings and electrification in ?transport.
  • The EV share of the US passenger ?vehicle fleet reaches 93%, 96%, and ??31% by 2050 in Rapid, Net Zero, and ?BAU respectively.
  • Oil demand plateaus before 2025 in all ?scenarios, from a combination of ?COVID-related behavioural change, ?efficiency and electrification.?
  • Renewables reach almost 60% of the ?power mix in BAU, while they account ?for 63% in Rapid and 69% in Net ?Zero.?
  • Coal’s share of the US power generation mix declines sharply, falling from 33% to 0% in Rapid and Net ?Zero and just 3% in 2050 in BAU.?
  • Nuclear’s share in power falls from 20% to 16% in Rapid and to 2% in BAU. It remains at 20% in Net ?Zero.?
  • Gas’ share in primary energy falls slightly from 30% to 25% in Rapid, while it halves in Net Zero and ?grows to 36% in BAU. US LNG exports increase almost tenfold by 2050 in BAU and Rapid, and its ?share of global LNG exports increases from 10% to around 25%, respectively.
  • These effects reduce net CO2 emissions by 5.3% p.a. between 2018-50 in Rapid (to 1 GtCO2). Emissions ?fall by 11% p.a. to reach 0.1 GtCO2 by 2050 in Net Zero.?
  • In BAU the 1.3% yearly decline is on par with the trend of the last decade (1.1%).?
  • 15% (or 5 GtCO2) of the decline to achieve the Net Zero scenario occurs in the US, second only to China.?
  • CCS technologies abate 10% of US carbon emissions reductions, falling by 450-590 Mt in Rapid and Net ?Zero.
  • Hydrogen reaches 14% of primary energy in Rapid, almost 30% in Net Zero, but less than 1% in BAU. A ?quarter of the hydrogen consumed comes from natural gas in Rapid. The US accounts for around 15% ?of global hydrogen demand, behind China.
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