Gas will take over as the largest energy source this decade
Natural gas currently has a smaller share of the global energy mix than oil and coal, but it will grow to become the largest energy source in 2026. Gas demand peaks in 2035 and it remains the largest energy source through to 2050, at that time representing 29% of global energy use. Power (34%), buildings (21%) and manufacturing (18%) are the biggest consumers of natural gas.
After a slow start, the decarbonization of gas picks up towards the end of the forecast period, when we see rapid growth of blue hydrogen from steam methane reforming (SMR), and of gas with CCS in power and industry — together representing 22 EJ or 13% of natural gas use in 2050.
The EU's Green Deal, with higher carbon prices, and similar policies following in other regions are important policy levers - but do not boost significant gas decarbonization until after 2035.