BP have published their latest annual energy outlook in February, looking ahead to 2035. The key points to note are :
Energy consumption is expected to increase by 34% between 2014 and 2035, according to BP’s Energy Outlook. The extra energy is required because of the expected growth in the world economy as well as the rising global population.
Virtually all of the additional energy will be consumed in fast-growing emerging economies.
Fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy powering the global economy, providing around 60% of the increase in energy and accounting for almost 80% of total energy supplies in 2035. Gas should be the fastest growing fossil fuel.
In contrast, coal will suffer a sharp reversal in its fortunes. After gaining share since 2000, the growth of coal is projected to slow sharply at (0.5% p.a.), compared with almost 3% p.a. over the past 20 years. By 2035 the share of coal in primary energy should be at an all-time low, with gas replacing it as the second-largest fuel source.
Among non-fossil fuels, renewables (including biofuels) will grow rapidly at 6.6% p.a., causing their share in primary energy to rise from around 3% today to 9% by 2035. The rapid growth in renewables will be supported by the expected pace of cost reductions: the costs of onshore wind and utility-scale solar PV are likely to fall by around 25% and 40% over the next 20 years.
More than half of the increase in global energy will be used for power generation as the long-run trend towards global electrification continues, particularly benefiting those who currently lack adequate access to electricity in regions such as Asia and Africa.
The oil market will gradually rebalance, with the current low level of prices boosting demand and dampening supply. The increase in consumption of liquid fuels will be largely driven by the increase in the global vehicle fleet, which more than doubles from around 1.2 billion today to 2.4 billion by 2035.
The efficiency of the vehicle fleet increases substantially, improving by 2-3% p.a. compared with 1.5% p.a. over the past decade. As a result, in 2035, an average passenger car is expected to achieve 50 miles per gallon, compared with only 30 miles per gallon today.
Both hydro and nuclear energy are projected to increase steadily, growing at 1.8% p.a. and 1.9% p.a. respectively. China’s nuclear output should more than double by 2020 and increasing nine-fold by 2035.
On the other hand, nuclear output will decline in the EU (-29%) and North America (-13%), as ageing plants are gradually decommissioned and the economic and political challenges of nuclear energy stunt new investments.