The evolution of energy consumption toward net-zero futures


This chapter presents the first part of the results, focusing on energy demand and consumption, including a by-sector analysis and an examination of the specific case of space heating. Reducing fossil fuel sources in net-zero scenarios leads to a significant decline in energy demand, largely the result of technological transformations toward more productive energy sources, mainly electricity. Given the cost and availability of technological substitutes, the portrait across sectors is varied both in the mix used and in the pace of the transformation, which is more rapid in sectors with cheaper existing technologies.


  • Compared with simple reduction scenarios, the net-zero constraint profoundly changes the evolution of energy consumption.
  • Net-zero scenarios lead to substantial transformations that mainly affect electricity, even before 2030 in some sectors.
  • Net-zero reduction targets translate into reduced energy demand due in large part to energy efficiency and productivity gains (notably through electrification).
  • Net-zero scenarios do not include any expansion of natural gas even over the medium term (2030), as it is largely incompatible with pathways aiming at net-zero by mid-century. Natural gas cannot be considered as a transition fuel.
  • The transformation of the transport sector will be central to GHG emission reduction efforts.
  • Replacement of fossil fuel powered systems by electricity for space heating constitutes a key contribution to GHG reductions.
    In all scenarios, bioenergy expands from now to 2030 (in large part because of liquid biofuels) and then grows more slowly afterward, partly due to limited availability.
  • The industrial sector can reduce its emissions through the use of low-carbon energy sources for heat production even without changing its processes.
  • Hydrogen remains a small share of the total even in 2060, in part due to current difficulties in assessing the exact technical role it can play.
  • The proposed evolution of the federal carbon price up to 2030 is insufficient to reach the GHG reductions targeted.