key results of the global energy [r]evolution scenario
energy demand by sector
Combining the projections on population development, GDP growth and energy intensity results in future development pathways for the USA’s final energy demand. These are shown in Figure 6.1 for the Reference and both Energy [R]evolution scenarios. Under the Reference scenario total primary energy demand increases by more than 7% from the current 97,394 PJ/a to 103,577 PJ/a in 2050. In the Energy [R]evolution scenario, energy demand decreases by 40% compared to current consumption and is expected to reach 58,651 PJ/a by 2050. In the advanced version, transport sector demand in the USA is 13% lower by 2050 than in the basic Energy [R]evolution scenario; other sectors remain approximately the same.
Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario electricity demand is expected to decrease in the industry sector but to grow in the transport sector, whereas in the residential and service sectors electricity demand remains nearly constant (see Figure 6.2). Total electricity demand will rise to 4,636 TWh/a by the year 2050. Compared to the Reference scenario, efficiency measures in industry and other sectors avoid the generation of about 2,178 TWh/a. This reduction can be achieved in particular by introducing highly efficient electronic devices using the best available technology in all demand sectors.
Efficiency gains in the heat supply sector are even larger. Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario demand for heat supply will grow up to 2030 but can then even be reduced to below the current level of demand (see Figure 6.3). Compared to the Reference scenario, consumption equivalent to 2,517 PJ/a is avoided through efficiency gains by 2050 in both Energy [R]evolution scenarios. As a result of energy-related renovation of the existing stock of residential buildings, as well as the introduction of low energy standards and ‘passive houses’ for new buildings, enjoyment of the same comfort and energy services will be accompanied by a much lower future energy demand.
In the transport sector, it is assumed under the Energy [R]evolution scenario that energy demand will decrease by half to 13,505 PJ/a by 2050, saving 49% compared to the Reference scenario. This reduction can be achieved by the introduction of highly efficient vehicles, by shifting the transport of goods from road to rail and by changes in mobility-related behavior patterns. The advanced version will further decrease demand - through lifestyle changes, increased efficiency in transport systems and a higher share of electric drives - to 56% below the reference case
heating and cooling supply
Today, renewables meet 12% of the USA's primary energy demand for heat supply, the main contribution coming from the use of biomass. The lack of district heating networks is a severe structural barrier to the large scale utilisation of geothermal and solar thermal energy. Dedicated support instruments are required to ensure a dynamic development.
In the Energy [R]evolution scenario, renewables provide 74% of the USA’s total heating demand by 2050.
• Energy efficiency measures help to reduce the currently growing demand for heating and cooling, in spite of improving living standards.
• In the industry sector solar collectors, biomass/biogas and geothermal energy are increasingly substituted for conventional fossil-fuelled heating systems.
• A shift from coal and oil to natural gas in the remaining conventional applications leads to a further reduction of CO2 emissions.
In the Energy [R]evolution scenario 2,517 PJ/a is saved by 2050, or 13% compared to the Reference scenario. The advanced version introduces renewable heating systems around five years ahead of the basic scenario. Solar collectors and geothermal heating systems achieve economies of scale via ambitious support programmes five to ten years earlier, resulting in a renewables share of 53% by 2030 and 98% by 2050.
Read more in Chapter 6 of the usa energy [r]evolution report.