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BP Energy Review 2017

June 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood





More on the BP Energy Review.

Despite a small drop in coal consumption, fossil fuels remain dominant, with a share of 85%.

Wind and solar in contrast contribute only a tiny 2.2%.





Year on year, the increase in fossil fuel energy has been almost double that from wind and solar.





Comparison of the two years shows how small the inroads are that renewable energy is making into total energy consumption.


Surely it must slowly be dawning on even the most ardent advocates for renewable energy, that it will remain little more than an expensive sideshow for a long while to come yet.

  1. June 19, 2017 7:31 pm

    A possibly useful analogy, for arguing with your young idealistic relatives and friends is to consider a camping trip. You might have solar panels on your van, and maybe a small wind turbine, but the only practical way to provide heating, hot water and cooking is to burn something, mostly some form of fossil gas. They won’t entertain the notion of chopping down trees and burning the wood.

    The solar panels and wind turbine can be used to recharge mobile phones and provide lighting, but the bulk of your energy needs can only come from fossil fuels. If that doesn’t convince them, ask how the van got to the countryside, and if they say it is electric, then ask them how the battery was charged.

  2. Stuart Brown permalink
    June 19, 2017 7:42 pm

    From the pdf – BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017:


    The primary energy values of nuclear and hydroelectric power generation, as well as electricity from renewable sources, have been derived by calculating the equivalent amount of fossil fuel required to generate the same volume of electricity in a thermal power station, assuming a conversion efficiency of 38% (the average for OECD thermal
    power generation).’

    Doesn’t that mean the figures for solar/wind are inflated by a factor of 2.6? When oil or gas is used for heating anyway. My primary domestic heat source is gas (UK), burnt in a condensing boiler (furnace) that claims to be up in the 80%s efficient. If I used solar/wind electricity for heating by this measure, I’d need way more of it.

    Transport use of energy is another minefield altogether.

    Trying to get to a single figure for primary energy seems a bit weird to me. The useful primary energy depends too much on what the fuel is used for. Using gas to create electricity throws maybe 40-50% of the energy into the air. For coal it’s worse. But what percentage of oil is used for that purpose? Why transpose everything back to oil?

    Unless you are an oil company, I suppose…

  3. Rosco permalink
    June 19, 2017 10:33 pm

    “Surely it must slowly be dawning on even the most ardent advocates for renewable energy, that it will remain little more than an expensive sideshow for a long while to come yet.”

    Unless there is some miraculous discovery out there “it will little more than an expensive sideshow for” evah ??

  4. Rosco permalink
    June 19, 2017 10:39 pm

    Of course electricity generation isn’t the “be all and end all”.

    I am yet to see any international shipping, air transport, farming machinery and other transport systems that are electric or, if electric, don’t rely on hydrocarbon generated electricity anyway.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think we should be smarter in our hydrocarbon use and environmental protection. I just think the obsession with CO2 is irrelevant and has thus far produced nothing but waste and more environmental damage than if we ignored it.

    Just realised I can’t even quote properly above so what would I know ?

  5. anthony cox permalink
    June 22, 2017 4:27 am

    What does Mta e stand for?

    • June 22, 2017 9:27 am

      Sorry, it’s a bit blurred

      It’s actually Mtoe = Million tonnes oil equivalent

      • anthony cox permalink
        June 22, 2017 10:31 am


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