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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.