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BP Energy Outlook 2030 sees emerging economies leading energy growth to 2030; global CO2 emissions from energy well above IEA 450 scenario

In both the base-case and a scenario with more aggressive environmental policies, CO2 emissions from energy use remain well above the IEA 450 scenario. Click to enlarge.

World energy growth over the next twenty years is expected to be dominated by emerging economies such as China, India, Russia and Brazil while improvements in energy efficiency measures are set to accelerate, according to BP’s latest projection of energy trends, the BP Energy Outlook 2030.

The forecast’s base case points to primary energy use growing by nearly 40% over the next twenty years, with 93% of the growth coming from non-OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Non-OECD countries are seen to rapidly increase their share of overall energy demand from just over half currently to two-thirds.

Over the same period, energy intensity, a key measure of energy use per unit of economic output, is set to improve globally led by rapid efficiency gains in the same non-OECD economies, under these projections.

An alternative policy scenario, which anticipates stronger environmental regulation, results in lowered consumption. However, both cases result in global CO2 emissions well above the IEA 450 scenario—a back-cast which illustrates what is required to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at 450 ppm.

According to the base case forecast, diversification of energy sources increases and non-fossil fuels (nuclear, hydro and renewables) are together expected to be the biggest source of growth for the first time. Between 2010 to 2030 the contribution to energy growth of renewables (solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels) is seen to increase from 5% to 18%.

Natural gas is projected to be the fastest growing fossil fuel, and coal and oil are likely to lose market share as all fossil fuels experience lower growth rates. Fossil fuels’ contribution to primary energy growth is projected to fall from 83% to 64%. OECD oil demand peaked in 2005 and in 2030 is projected to be roughly back at its level in 1990. Biofuels will account for 9% of global transport fuels.

The BP Energy Outlook 2030 is the first of BP’s forward-looking analyses to be published, after 60 years of producing definitive historical data in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Highlights of the report include:

  • BP’s ‘base case’ projections are that world primary energy demand growth averages 1.7% per year from 2010 to 2030 although growth decelerates slightly beyond 2020. Non-OECD energy consumption will be 68% higher by 2030 averaging 2.6% per year growth, and accounts for 93% of global energy growth. In contrast, OECD growth averages 0.3% per year to 2030; and from 2020 OECD energy consumption per capita is on a declining trend of -0.2% per year.

  • Transport growth is seen to slow because of a decline in the OECD. The region’s total demand for oil and other liquids peaked in 2005 and will be back at roughly the level of 1990 by 2030. Toward the end of the period, coal demand in China will no longer be rising and China is projected to become the world’s largest oil consumer.

  • OPEC’s share of global oil production is set to increase to 46%, a position not seen since 1977. At the same time, oil—and gas—import dependency in the US is likely to fall to levels not seen since the 1990s, because of improved fuel efficiency and the increased share of biofuels. Global consumption growth is also impacted by higher oil prices in recent years and a gradual reduction of subsidies in oil-importing countries.

  • The fuel mix changes over time, reflecting long asset lifetimes. Oil, excluding bio-fuels, will grow relatively slowly at 0.6% per year; natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel with more than three times the projected growth rate of oil at 2.1% per year. Coal will increase by 1.2% per year and by 2030 it is likely to provide virtually as much energy as oil excluding biofuels. The strong carbon policy drive in OECD countries risks being more than offset by growth in emerging economies.

  • Wind, solar, bio-fuels and other renewables continue to grow strongly, increasing their share in primary energy from less than 2% now to more than 6% projected by 2030. Biofuels will provide 9% of transport fuels and nuclear and hydropower will grow steadily and gain market share in total energy consumption.

The slowing of growth in total energy in transport is related to higher oil prices and improving fuel economy, vehicle saturation in mature economies, and expected increases in taxation and subsidy reduction in developing economies. In percentage terms, oil demand is reduced the most in the power sector (-30%) because this is the easiest oil to displace with gas or renewables and is the sector most likely to employ carbon pricing.

—Christof Rühl, Chief Economist of BP

Global liquids demand is forecast to reach 102.4 million barrels per day (mmbpd) in 2030. The net growth of 16.5 mmbpd over the next 20 years comes exclusively from the emerging economies of the non-OECD.

Non-OECD Asia will account for nearly two-thirds of non-OECD consumption growth over the next 20 years and more than three-quarters of the net global increase, rising by nearly 13 million barrels a day. The largest increments of new supply will come from OPEC – conventional crude in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as OPEC natural gas liquids (NGLs) which are not subject to OPEC quotas.

—Christof Rühl

Non-OPEC liquids are likely to rise modestly, driven by a large increase in biofuels, along with smaller increments from Canadian oil sands, deepwater Brazil, and the FSU which offset continued declines in mature provinces.

According to the Energy Outlook’s projections, oil continues to suffer a long run decline in market share, while gas steadily gains share. Coal’s recent gains in market share, on the back of rapid industrialization in China and India in particular, are reversed by 2030, with all three fossil fuels converging on market shares around 27%.

The diversifying fuel mix can be seen most clearly in terms of shares of growth. Over the period 1990-2010 fossil fuels contributed 83% of the growth in energy; over the next twenty years fossil fuels are likely to contribute 64% of the growth. Renewables (excluding hydro) and biofuels together account for 18% of the growth in energy to 2030.

OECD oil demand declines are concentrated primarily outside the transport sector, where it is relatively easier to displace oil by gas and renewables; post-2015, OECD transport demand is also expected to fall as technology and policy drive improved engine efficiency.

—Christof Rühl

Biofuels production is expected to reach 6.7 mmbpd by 2030 from 1.8 mmbpd in 2010 and will contribute 125% of net non-OPEC supply growth over the next 20 years. Continued policy support, high oil prices, and continued technological innovations all contribute to the rapid expansion.

The US and Brazil will continue to dominate biofuel production with 76% of total output in 2010 but falling to 68% in 2030 as output from Asia-Pacific begins to rise.

Impact of environmental policy. The Energy Outlook 2030 assumes continued policy action to address concerns about both climate change and energy security, based on the current trend of political commitment. BP has developed an alternative ‘policy case’ to explore the implications of a significant increase in the level of political commitment which translates into a tightening of policy.

In BP’s policy case “global emissions peak just after 2020, but will still be 20% above 2005 levels. The emissions path is still expected to be well above the International Energy Agency’s 450 Scenario, indicating how much more effort will be required after 2030 to put the world onto a ‘safe’ path,” said Rühl.

The cut in emissions in the policy case would be achieved through a combination of more rapid efficiency gains, fuel switching—from gas to coal and from fossil fuels to nuclear, hydro and renewables—and the introduction of carbon capture and storage (CCS) for both coal and gas power plants.



This study essentially lays out why oil prices will collapse sooner or later. To quote:"‘base case’ projections are that world primary energy demand growth averages 1.7% per year from 2010 to 2030" whereas at todays exploration expenditures, production is certain to increase more than 1.7%, ie more than demand. At some point the supply demand imbalance will take over and collapse the price. Non OPEC producers likely to lead the collapse. Another key element is China is determined to avoid dependence on imported oil-and is taking action.

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