BP Energy Outlook 2016
By Paul Homewood
BP have published their latest annual energy outlook, looking ahead to 2035.
The key points to note are :
- Global energy consumption to rise by 34%
- GDP to double, around 20% of the rise due to population increase and the rest improvements in productivity.
- China and India together account for almost half of the projected increase in global GDP, with OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) economies accounting for around a quarter.
- Virtually all of the additional energy is consumed in fast-growing emerging economies. Energy demand within the OECD barely grows.
- Fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy powering the global economy, providing around 60% of the increase in energy and accounting for almost 80% of total energy supplies in 2035.
- Gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel at 1.8% per annum, with its share in primary energy gradually increasing. Oil grows steadily at 0.9% p.a., although the trend decline in its share continues. The combined increase of oil and gas over the Outlook is similar to the past 20 years.
- In contrast, coal suffers a sharp reversal in its fortunes. After gaining share since 2000, the growth of coal is projected to slow sharply at (0.5% p.a.), compared with almost 3% p.a. over the past 20 years, such that by 2035 the share of coal in primary energy is at an all-time low, with gas replacing it as the second-largest fuel source.
- Among non-fossil fuels, renewables (including biofuels) grow rapidly at 6.6% p.a., causing their share in primary energy to rise from around 3% today to 9% by 2035.
- More than half of the increase in global energy is used for power generation as the long-run trend towards global electrification continues, particularly benefiting those who currently lack adequate access to electricity in regions such as Asia and Africa.
- Both hydro and nuclear energy are projected to increase steadily, growing at 1.8% p.a. and 1.9% p.a. respectively.
- The rate of growth of carbon emissions more than halves relative to the past 20 years, reflecting gains in energy efficiency and the changing fuel mix. But emissions continue to rise, suggesting the need for further action.
- The growth rate of carbon emissions over the Outlook is expected to more than halve relative to the past 20 years: 0.9% p.a. versus 2.1% p.a.. (This would be about 20% total increase, compounded).
A few key charts:
Energy Consumption by Region
(IEA 450 is the IEA’s “Challenge Scenario”, not to be confused with real life!)
My key thoughts:
As I have predicted previously, the Paris Treaty will see a continued rise in CO2 emissions. BP’s estimate of 20% does not look unrealistic.
Despite sharply rising growth in renewables, these will still only account for a very small share of total energy, 9%, by 2035, as total energy demand continues to rise rapidly.
Fossil fuels will still account for 80% of energy by 2035
Given current economic conditions, my guess is that GDP growth may be overstated, which in turn will make it harder for China and co to cut energy intensity, but will also slow CO2 emissions.
The forecast decline of coal has, in my view, been overdone. The likes of China and India will continue to get energy where it is readily available and cheap. Current market conditions favour oil and gas, but this may not be the case in ten years time.