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BP Energy Outlook 2023

February 1, 2023
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier

A couple of days ago BP’s Spencer Dale warned that the world would still be needing fossil fuels for 20% of its energy, according to their latest Energy Outlook. But it turns out that even this is grossly over-optimistic:




Let’s take a closer look at the report.

The first thing to note is that all of the projections are based on three scenarios:

  • New Momentum
  • Accelerated
  • Net Zero

Net Zero produces the biggest emission cuts, and this is what Spencer Dale’s 20% figure was based on, New Momentum gives the least emission cuts. but as the name suggests it still assumes emissions are much less than Business As Usual (based on existing national pledges), which curiously is missing from the report.

The clue to this omission possibly lies in the first of the Core Beliefs:


There is of course no “Carbon Budget”, and the rest of the world would certainly not recognise it had any relevance to them anyway. The fact that BP even mention it shows that this is not an objective, realistic analysis, but instead is a politically motivated attempt to put some clothes on the naked emperor!

But I digress!

The first chart shows how utterly unrealistic the Net Zero scenario is. Nobody seriously believes the whole world will have to all intents and purposes eliminated CO2 emissions by 2050. And the Accelerated one is barely more credible::



One reason why those two scenarios belong in the waste bin is that they both assume that energy consumption will fall drastically after 2030. This is just silly, and it reflects poorly on BP that they should have put their name to this rubbish. (I do accept by the way that they are right to project what a Net Zero strategy would look like, but they should have emphasised its sheer impracticability, instead of passing it off as a plausible outcome).



The whole idea that China, India and the rest of the developing world is going to give up the extra energy their economies need to grow is absurd, even if energy efficiencies are built in. What we need to remember is that the developed world has made immense strides over the decades in energy efficiency, but overall consumption still rose as people became richer and consumed more.

We then come to oil and gas. BP don’t seem to have tried to estimate consumption by regions, but they have looked at import trends, These show that gas and oil imports fall away sharply in the EU, primarily because of the war in Ukraine. But in China and India, their use remains pretty much where it is today even by 2050. (BP’s logic for using imports as an indicator is that countries won’t want to rely too much on imports for energy security reasons; as there is limited reserves of oil and gas domestically, so the logic goes, they will be forced to rely on renewables instead):


And the upshot of all of this?

Under the only rationall projection, New Momentum, fossil fuels will still be supplying 55% of the world’s energy in 2050, with renewables well down the list at 35%.


  1. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 1, 2023 4:29 pm

    It’s all a Looney fantasy.

    He needs to be gone before he wrecks BP entirely.

  2. incywincysales permalink
    February 1, 2023 4:52 pm

    “Under the only rational projection, New Momentum, fossil fuels will still be supplying 55% of the world’s energy in 2050, with renewables well down the list at 35%” assumes that no fossil fuels are involved in the generation of electricity or production of hydrogen.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 1, 2023 7:09 pm

      Ruinables. FTFY.

  3. February 1, 2023 5:01 pm

    I do like the charts showing the future “energy demand peaks” and “total fuel consumption by fuel”, colourfully indicated by ‘oil’, ‘gas’, ‘coal’, ‘electricity’, ‘hydrogen’ and ‘other’.

    Maybe the full text provides some rational explanation. But how does ‘hydrogen’ qualify as a ‘fuel’? Is this the extremely rare molecules of hydrogen that can occasionally occur? And is the ‘electricity’ going to come from those fabled Electricity Mines? Even the contributions from ‘other’ look more likely.

  4. Bill Toland permalink
    February 1, 2023 5:13 pm

    Of course, the New Momentum projection will not happen. Africa has just started to industrialise and will have 2.5 billion people by 2050. This means that carbon emissions will keep rising steadily all of the way to 2050 and beyond.

  5. February 1, 2023 6:00 pm

    Disappointing that a petro fuels company would feel the need to put on this kind of mask. Who are they trying to impress? Customers, politicians, financial companies, the Woke Herd? Were and engineers involved in putting this projection together? Or any numerate individuals?

    They should be embarrassed.

  6. Broadlands permalink
    February 1, 2023 7:09 pm

    Again, lowering CO2 emissions takes no CO2 out of the atmosphere. What it does do is make for higher prices and increasing shortages of the fuels needed for all of the transportation required to make the transition to renewables and EV transportation. BP should be among the first to emphasize that. The oil industry is critical to moving economies forward. That’s where the “decisive action” should be taken, not focusing on increasing emission reductions or net-zero negative emissions. That is counter productive.

  7. February 1, 2023 8:45 pm

    The annual data update seems to be missing as they reference 2021 not 2022

  8. February 1, 2023 10:39 pm

    Human populations going up while energy consumption comes down is a nonstarter. Renewables may have a niche in electricity supply but shipping, aviation, steel, concrete, inorganic fertilizers, plastics, heavy industry and transport, etc. etc? Don’t think so.

  9. ancientpopeye permalink
    February 2, 2023 7:49 am

    Lies and damn lies, NetZero is a pipe dream, I demand to know what they are smoking.
    Follow the money, more grants, bigger funding, who benefits, surely not the originators of this guff?

    • dave permalink
      February 2, 2023 9:12 am

      The UAH’s global temperature-anomalies numbers for January have been published.

      Down again:

      Dropped 0.4 C since July.

      A moment of silence now, while “scientists” to do that head-scratching thing they like to do before pronouncing, “Obvious result of global warming!”

      • February 2, 2023 9:27 am

        Can science people please explain to me how there was global cooling from 1940 to 1975; warming from 1976 to 2015; and now a pause since 2015?

        Yet during these changes carbon dioxide levels have continued to increase.
        My guess is that something other than carbon dioxide causes these changes – but I get shouted down – and banned from The Times.

        I call it the Altipueri Paradox !

        David Tallboys

      • ancientpopeye permalink
        February 2, 2023 11:24 am

        Surely, ‘man-made-climate-change?

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 2, 2023 10:08 am

    Given that the advert for this program is a grinning berk blowing up a coal power station, I think we can guess it won’t get near the truth.

    “However, the most extraordinary feat will come towards the end of the series, when he takes part in demolishing a power station. With this, he will help explode Britain’s oldest coal-burning power station and look at how the country is moving closer towards net-zero emissions.”

  11. GeorgeLet permalink
    February 2, 2023 11:35 pm

    Perhaps only if nuclear was brought back big time. Definitely not from the boondoggle, solar and wind.

  12. Tom permalink
    February 8, 2023 10:28 am

    The three scenarios chart could also be the plots of GDP, quality of life or life expectancy due to the drive to eliminate fossil fuels without feasible replacements.

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