Oilfield & Energies

BP’s 'Energy Outlook' predicts slowing oil demand but failure to meet Paris Agreement

BP has released its annual Energy Outlook report, which suggests a significant increase in the use of electric vehicles, oil demand peaking before plateauing, coal demand decreasing, and carbon emissions still increasing by 2040.

The 2018 report, which published last week, looks at global energy predictions up to 2040, although BP emphasizes that those predictions comprise possible scenarios rather than actual forecasts. They include predictions that:

  • Global energy demands will increase by a third, mainly due to rapid growth of developing economies and increased urbanization
  • China and India will account for half of the growth in global energy demands.
  • India will overtake China in the early 2030s as the fastest growing market for energy, and after 2035 Africa will contribute more to the global demand than China.
  • The demand for oil will continue to grow but will peak in the 2030s before plateauing. After 2030, growth will come mainly from non-combusted uses, such as feedstocks for petrochemicals.
  • Non-fossil fuels (nuclear, hydro, and renewable) will contribute 25% of the world’s energy needs by 2040. The increase in demand is mainly enabled by the increasing competitiveness of wind and solar power; BP predicts that falling costs will make solar power widely competitive by the mid-2020s.

Energy demands for transport are predicted to grow by only 25%, despite a 100% increase in demand for transport, due to gains in vehicle efficiency. BP thinks that vehicles in 2040 will be 70% more efficient than they were in 2000. The transport industry will still be dominated by oil, but electric vehicles (EVs) will account for a 15% share. (The Outlook report also considers an internal combustion engine ban from 2040; in this alternative scenario, 33% of all car sales in 2030 are electric, which necessarily rises to 100% by 2040.)

The report also predicts that carbon emissions will still rise 10% by 2040. Although this rate is slower than the past 25 years (55% increase), even this slower rate of growth is far higher than the projected emissions decline of the Paris Agreement. If this is true, then clearly more must be done – across the globe – to address climate warming.

For more information, visit https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/energy-outlook.html