World Energy Model

Scenario analysis of future energy trends

Techno-economic inputs

Remaining technically recoverable fossil fuel resources, end-2018

 

Oil (billion barrels)

Proven reserves

Resources

Conventional crude oil

Tight oil

NGLs

EHOB

Kerogen oil

North America

 240

2 364

 244

 177

 141

 802

1 000

Central and South America

 288

 852

 246

 60

 50

 494

 3

Europe

 15

 116

 60

 19

 29

 3

 6

Africa

 125

 452

 310

 54

 86

 2

-

Middle East

 836

1 138

 913

 29

 152

 14

 30

Eurasia

 145

 956

 241

 85

 60

 552

 18

Asia Pacific

 52

 287

 129

 72

 67

 3

 16

World

1 700

6 165

2 142

 496

 585

1 870

1 073

 

 

Natural gas (trillion cubic metres)

Proven reserves

Resources

Conventional gas

Tight gas

Shale gas

Coalbed methane

North America

15

141

50

10

74

7

Central and South America

8

84

28

15

41

-

Europe

5

47

19

5

18

5

Africa

19

101

51

10

40

0

Middle East

81

122

102

9

11

-

Eurasia

76

170

133

10

10

17

Asia Pacific

20

138

44

21

53

21

World

225

803

426

80

247

50

 

 

Coal
(billion tonnes)

Proven reserves

Resources

Coking coal

Steam coal

Lignite

North America

 258

8 390

1 032

5 839

1 519

Central and South America

 14

 61

 3

 32

 25

Europe

 135

 977

 188

 388

 402

Africa

 13

 297

 35

 262

 0

Middle East

 1

 41

 19

 23

-

Eurasia

 189

4 302

 731

2 191

1 380

Asia Pacific

 433

8 947

1 506

6 026

1 414

World

1 043

23 014

3 514

14 760

4 740

Notes: NGLs = natural gas liquids; EHOB = extra-heavy oil and bitumen. The breakdown of coal resources by type is an IEA estimate. Coal world resources exclude Antarctica. Sources: BGR (2018); BP (2019); Cedigaz (2019); OGJ (2018); US DOE/EIA (2018, 2019); US DOE/EIA/ARI (2013, 2015); USGS (2012a, 2012b); IEA databases and analysis.

The WEO supply modelling relies on estimates of the remaining technically recoverable resource, rather than the (often more widely quoted) numbers for proven reserves. Resource estimates are inevitably subject to a considerable degree of uncertainty.

We distinguish in the analysis between conventional and unconventional resource types, but the distinction between the two, in practice, is an inexact and somewhat artificial one (and what is considered unconventional today may be considered conventional tomorrow).

Remaining recoverable resources of conventional oil and gas are largely unchanged from last year’s World Energy Outlook. The main adjustment to our estimates of remaining technically recoverable oil resources comes in the numbers for US tight oil. Total US tight crude and condensate resources in the WEO-2019 amount to 155 billion barrels, a 35% increase from the 115 billion barrels included in the WEO-2018. The main revision is for tight oil resources in the Permian basin following new assessments from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Its latest assessment of the Permian Delaware basin leads to a 50 billion barrel estimate of remaining technically recoverable crude oil and condensate resources; the WEO-2018 included 22 billion barrels. Resources in the Permian Midland basin have also been revised up by around 33%, and there have been some upward revisions in smaller plays in Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Remaining US shale gas resources in the WEO-2019 are also higher than last year at 43 trillion cubic metres (tcm), a 25% increase from the level in the WEO-2018. The largest change is for the Haynesville/Bossier shale, for which the latest USGS assessment leads to a remaining technically recoverable resource estimate of 6.8; the WEO-2018 included an estimate of 2.9 tcm. This revision does not have a large impact on the production profile in the Stated Policies Scenario, as the Haynesville shale is relatively expensive and it is assumed that the play is not developed in earnest until towards the end of the Outlook period.

The remaining technical recoverable resources of fossil fuels are comfortably sufficient to meet the projections of global demand growth to 2040 in all scenarios.

Overall, the gradual depletion of resources (at a pace that varies by scenario) means that operators have to develop more difficult and complex reservoirs. This tends to push up production costs over time, although this effect is offset by the assumed continuous adoption of new, more efficient production technologies and practices.

Remaining technically recoverable coal resources are huge and more widely distributed than those of oil and gas. This means that, although environmental concerns are widespread, the availability of coal supply typically is not an issue.

World coal resources are made up of various types of coal: around 80% is steam and coking coal and the remainder is lignite.

Technology costs by selected region in the Stated Policies Scenario

 

 

 

Capital costs ($/kW)

Capacity factor (%)

Fuel and O&M ($/MWh)

LCOE
($/MWh)

VALCOE ($/MWh)

 

 

2018

2040

2018

2040

2018

2040

2018

2040

2018

2040

United States

Nuclear

5 000

4 500

90

90

30

30

105

100

105

100

Coal

2 100

2 100

60

60

30

30

75

75

75

75

Gas CCGT

1 000

1 000

50

50

30

35

50

60

45

60

Solar PV

1 550

 830

21

23

15

10

95

50

95

60

Wind onshore

1 660

1 500

42

44

10

10

55

50

55

55

Wind offshore

4 300

2 060

41

48

35

20

155

70

150

75

European Union

Nuclear

6 600

4 500

75

75

35

35

150

110

145

115

Coal

2 000

2 000

40

40

45

45

120

145

105

125

Gas CCGT

1 000

1 000

40

40

60

70

90

115

75

85

Solar PV

1 090

 610

13

14

15

10

110

65

105

90

Wind onshore

1 950

1 760

28

30

20

15

95

85

95

90

Wind offshore

4 920

2 580

49

59

20

10

140

65

135

75

China

Nuclear

2 500

2 500

75

75

25

25

65

65

65

65

Coal

 800

 800

70

70

35

30

50

70

50

65

Gas CCGT

 560

 560

50

50

75

85

90

110

85

100

Solar PV

 880

 490

17

19

10

5

60

35

60

60

Wind onshore

1 180

1 160

25

27

15

10

60

55

65

60

Wind offshore

2 780

1 460

32

44

25

10

120

45

120

50

India

Nuclear

2 800

2 800

80

80

30

30

70

70

70

70

Coal

1 200

1 200

60

60

35

35

60

55

60

50

Gas CCGT

 700

 700

50

50

80

80

95

95

90

80

Solar PV

 790

 430

20

21

10

5

45

30

50

50

Wind onshore

1 200

1 160

26

29

15

10

60

50

65

55

Wind offshore

3 400

1 720

29

38

25

15

190

65

140

70

Note: O&M = operation and maintenance; LCOE = levelised cost of electricity; VALCOE = value-adjusted LCOE; kW = kilowatt; MWh = megawatt-hour; CCGT = combined-cycle gas turbine. LCOE and VALCOEs figures are rounded. Lower figures for VALCOE indicate improved competitiveness. Sources: IEA analysis; IRENA Renewable Costing Alliance; IRENA (2019).

Major contributors to the LCOE include: overnight capital costs; capacity factor that describes the average output over the year relative to the maximum rated capacity (typical values provided); the cost of fuel inputs; plus operation and maintenance. Economic lifetime assumptions are 25 years for solar PV, onshore and offshore wind.

For all technologies, a standard weighted average cost of capital was assumed (7-8% based on the stage of economic development, in real terms).

The value-adjusted LCOE (or “VALCOE”) incorporates information about both costs and the value provided to the system. Based on the LCOE, estimates of energy, capacity and flexibility value are incorporated to provide a metric of competitiveness for power generation technologies (see WEO 2019 section 6.8). This metric provides a more robust approach to compare dispatchable technologies and variable renewables.

The International Energy Agency is at the forefront of global efforts to assess and analyse persistent energy access deficit, providing annual country-by-country data on access to electricity and clean cooking (SDG 7.1). More details can be found in the SDG7 database.

Access to electricity

Energy access policies are steadily leading to progress, as the number of people without access to electricity fell below 1 billion in 2017. India completed the electrification of all villages in early 2018, and plans to achieve universal access to electricity by the early 2020s. However despite significant steps forward in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria, 600 million people remain without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Access to clean cooking

Updated data this year show that the number of people without clean cooking facilities is declining gradually for the first time. Over 400 million people have gained access to clean cooking since 2011 in India and China as a result of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) programmes and clean air policies. The challenge in sub-Saharan Africa remains acute, with a deteriorating picture. Only 17% of the population have clean cooking access. In total, 2.7 billion people worldwide still do not have access to clean cooking, and household air pollution, mostly from cooking smoke, is linked to 2.6 million premature deaths.