The latest forecast from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reinforces messages that have been coming for the past year from international bodies, independent analysts, and climate advocates: at its current trajectory, humanity will fall far short of the Paris Agreement goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, APA-Economics reports citing EIA report.
EIA's conclusion in its "International Energy Outlook 2021," released 6 October is that global energy demand will rise by 50% between 2020 and 2050, and carry annual CO2 emissions from this sector 24.7% higher.
Annual energy CO2 emissions in 2050 will total 42.839 billion metric tons (mt) globally, representing a yearly average gain of 0.7% from 2020 onwards.
"Even with growth in renewable energy, without significant policy changes or technological breakthroughs, we project increasing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions through 2050," said EIA Acting Administrator Stephen Nalley in a press conference.
EIA projects that renewable energy will make significant inroads in the global power mix by 2050, rising by 3.3% per year (compared with 1% for oil and 0.9% for natural gas). It says that batteries will contribute to reliability. Yet it states that gas and coal will be needed to meet power demand as well.
Renewable generation will nearly triple from 65.1 quadrillion Btu in 2020 to 191.7 quadrillion Btu in 2050. This will place its share of the power market at about 58.4% in 2050, compared with about 27.6% today.
Considering all end uses for energy—residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation—fossil fuels still will provide a large share, particularly for industry and transportation in 2050. However, it is worth noting that EIA places renewables' share of energy consumption (235.2 quadrillion Btu) nearly on par with hydrocarbon-based liquid fuels (248.5 quadrillion Btu), and ahead of gas and coal.