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BP Energy Outlook 2017

February 7, 2017

By Paul Homewood




BP have just published this year’s Energy Outlook, looking at energy trends and projections up to 2035.

These are the highlights:



With the world economy expected to nearly double, energy consumption will also rise by 31%, to 17.2 Mtoe in 2035.

This growth will take place outside the OECD, where energy consumption will effectively flatline.

Energy consumption in China will exceed that of the EU and US combined by 2025.





Although renewable energy will more than quadruple, its share of total energy will still only be 9% by 2035 (excl hydro).

Fossil fuels will remain dominant, with a share of 78%. Not only that, energy consumption from fossil fuels will actually increase by 18%, although coal consumption is expected to peak around 2030.




Emissions of CO2 will continue to climb, rising by 13%, and with no sign of peaking.

The IEA 450 scenario shows what how far emissions need to fall to achieve the goals set out in Paris.



While renewables share of power generation rises towards 40% on the back of massive subsidies, in the US, China and the rest of the world it will struggle to reach 20%.




It is claimed that renewables growth is driven by increasing competitiveness.




However, note the small print!

This is only the case because it is assumed there will be a carbon price of $60/t by 2035.



Interestingly they do not foresee much reduction in the cost of solar power, because PV module costs only account for a small proportion of total installation costs.

In contrast, they expect bigger drops on the cost of wind power, as productivity is improved.



BP’s Outlook does no differ materially from those of other organisations, such as the IEA and EIA:






In short, consumption of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas will continue to increase throughout the period. This is despite a quadrupling of renewable, improvements in energy efficiency and the mass introduction of electric cars.

As a result, CO2 emissions will also carry on rising.

  1. Bitter&twisted permalink
    February 7, 2017 5:11 pm

    I wonder how this energy outlook will change once Trump eviscerates the EPA, withdraws from the Paris “treaty” and defends the UN?

    • martinbrumby permalink
      February 7, 2017 5:43 pm

      I do hope that’s a typo for “defunds…”

      • Joe Public permalink
        February 7, 2017 9:38 pm


      • Bitter&twisted permalink
        February 7, 2017 11:26 pm

        Yes my bad.

  2. manicbeancounter permalink
    February 7, 2017 5:29 pm

    The IEA 450 case is the CO2 level that, if CO2 were the only greenhouse gas, would produce 2C of warming, if a doubling of CO2 produced 3C of warming.
    Professor Richard Tol estimates the global carbon tax required to achieve this 2C level in a 2013 paper. It would need to be $210 per tonne CO2 in 2020, rising by 5-6% a year. That would be over $435 per tonne in 2035.
    The increasing “competitiveness” of renewables is based upon a carbon tax of $30 in 2020 and $60 in 2035. That is about one seventh of the level required to achieve the policy aim. Even adopted globally, such a low level of carbon tax may not stop emissions from rising. But it is unlikely that such a carbon tax will be widely adopted in most devloping countries. It will only be used to justify the push for renewables in the UK and the EU.

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    February 7, 2017 6:04 pm

    Personally I can see reality biting over the next 10 years and there will be a massive decline RE investment.

  4. February 7, 2017 9:58 pm

    Of great importance in the wars is where the improvements have to come. If the EU, the UK and the USA are stable or declining, all significant eco-action has to be focused elsewhere.

    Perhaps we need a table and chart to direct the managers of Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to where they need to focus their budgets and staff time.

    It won’t bemuch on us.

  5. Athelstan permalink
    February 8, 2017 7:42 am

    In contrast, they expect bigger drops on the cost of wind power, as productivity is improved.


    indeed and just who are the tossers/ eejits/students writing these glory pass preposterous extrapolations crap?


    Huh right……………………… does someone now working in BP have a direct line to God – “hey man, is de wind blowin’ today your holy omniscience?”…….. and erecting ever bigger ‘monster’ birdmincers out in the North Sea [whatev?] are these boondoggles really that more efficient?? And or, will they fall over that much more easily?

    Who knows but only GOD and BP can tell!!

    Next PwC tell us how it will be thirty years hence, I wonder will BP be lending PwC their reference?

  6. Charlie Moncur permalink
    February 8, 2017 11:06 am

    The whole forecast is premised on CO2 being the root cause of global temperature variation. If this is not the case then, the argument for renewables falls apart. Trumps “redirection” of the EPA will start the ball rolling. The quoted 291% increase in renewables is very misleading and laughable. The report totally neglects the development of Thorium Reactors which are underway in many countries. These could provide a serious disruption to the energy generation sector and the CO2 emission levels as a byproduct. LNG will be used to power ships and large truck/train in Australia – Shell have already contract with cruise line company quoting 40% reduction in energy by the operators of the ships. Prediction is very difficult – especially about the future!!! We got it wrong before and we will get it wrong again!!! The main take away is that fossil fuels will be the main stay for the foreseeable future – including coal. Everything else is “noise”.

  7. February 8, 2017 1:41 pm

    ‘excessive optimism’ – it’s what greencrap is all about. Whether anyone in power will listen to the PAC is another matter.

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