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Date Fossil Fuels <50% of Global Energy

Question

In 2019, fossil fuels made 84% of global primary energy consumption. Primary energy refers not just to electricity, but also energy used in transport, industry, and in buildings (such as heating, appliances, and water heating). That 84% share is a reduction from 91% in 1979, despite a population growth of 76% and a 17.8% per-capita increase in energy consumption.

Welsby et. al. 2021 projected that in order to have a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5C by 2100, the world must reduce oil and gas consumption by 3% each year until 2050. The US Department of Energy published a study which showed that the US could achieve a carbon-free electrical grid by 2050 by massively investing in solar and wind power.

When will fossil fuels make up less than 50% of global primary energy consumption?

This question will resolve on the estimated date when energy from fossil fuels makes up less than 50% of global primary energy consumption, according to the BP statistical review of energy. If BP no longer publishes this data or significantly changes their methodology, Metaculus Admins may use a similar source for resolution, or resolve ambiguously at their discretion.

"Fossil fuels" here means coal, oil, and natural gas. Primary energy will be calculated by the substitution method, which takes account of excess energy lost in fossil fuel energy plants. The date of resolution will be estimated by linearly extrapolating the data (for example, if the data shows 51% fossil fuel energy on 2050-01-01 and 49.5% on 2051-01-01, the resolution date will be 2050-09-01).

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