The Shareholders' Newsletter SN#64

Strategy : Total Energy Outlook : which energies in 2050?


Which energies in 2050?

What kind of energy mix could meet growing energy demands while reducing carbon emissions to achieve the aims of the Paris agreement? To answer this question, Total has developed the Total Energy Outlook 2020 (TEO), a vision of world energy demand in 2050. 

To anticipate the possible developments in the global energy mix by 2050, Total has created the Total Energy Outlook 2020. The Group has modeled two scenarios Momentum and Rupture based on seven drivers of the energy shift: strong electrification of end-use, deep decarbonization of power supply, production of greener gas, sustainable mobility (in particular sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and electric vehicles), optimization of plastics demand, CO2 capture and storage and finally, energy efficiency.

Momentum scenario: not enough to meet global warming targets at 2°C

The Momentum scenario is based on current and future energy policies being upheld (including the European Green Deal), as well as the massive deployment of proven technologies such as solar, wind and biofuels, aggressive deployment of electric vehicles, etc. In this scenario, in 2050, the primary energy demand will be up by 25% (i.e. +0.6% per year). Natural gas and renewable energies represent 28% and 26% respectively of world primary energy demand. Even if coal has gone in Europe, the leading continent in sustainable development and net zero, it is proving hard to phase out worldwide. The Momentum scenario leads to an increase in the average temperature between 2.5 - 3°C by 2100. To meet climate change requirements, even more ambitious hypotheses are therefore needed.

Rupture scenario: a radical change

The Rupture scenario shows the drastic changes required to curb temperature increase to 1.5- 1.7°C by 2100: all countries committed to net zero, major technology breakthroughs with new industries at scale (hydrogen, synthetic fuels, carbon capture, etc.) and a primary energy demand up by only 0.4% per year. In this scenario, in 2050, electricity, hydrogen, biogas and biofuels represent over 50% of end use. Deeply decarbonized thanks to renewable energies (solar and wind), electricity is the energy of the 21st century and also used to produce low-carbon hydrogen (or “green” hydrogen). World oil demand declines but is still significant in 2050 (~45 Mb/d) and coal almost totally disappears from the global energy mix. The natural gas demand continues to rise, in particular to ensure the stability and versatility of electricity grids. Biomethane and low‑carbon hydrogen represent up to 25% of gas supplies in 2050. CO2 capture and storage enables the decarbonization of fossil fuel emissions by 50%. Residual emissions will be processed using future technologies such as Direct Air Capture.



  • The Rupture scenario combines a +10% increase in energy demand with a CO2trajectory in line with the climate objectives.

    (1,5‑1 ,7°C).

  • Oil reaches a peak in 2030 and coal disappears almost completely.

  • Gas remains the key to the stability and flexibility of the electricity grid.

* including traditional biomass, biofuels, biogas, etc.