Renewables to grow in influence through to 2030

BP’s Energy Outlook is predicting an increasing trend towards fuel switching with more gas and renewable use at the expense of coal and oil, for the period up until 2030.

The gradual switching should see renewables, including biofuels, continue to be the fastest growing sources of energy globally, rising at an annual rate of more than 8 per cent, much quicker than natural gas, which will be the fastest-growing fossil fuel, at an annual rate of 2 per cent over the period.

Overall global energy will remain dominated by fossil fuels, which are forecast to account for 81% of energy demand by 2030, which shows a decrease of about 6 per cent from current levels.

Global energy demand is likely to grow 39 per cent (1.6 per cent annually) over the period, and that growth will be almost entirely in non-OECD countries. Consumption in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries is expected to increase 4 per cent by 2030. Growth will be fuelled by economic and population growth in non-OECD countries, accompanied by increased energy efficiency and the strong growth in renewables.

The growth of unconventional supplies, including U.S. shale oil and gas, Canadian oil sands and Brazilian deep waters, set against a gradual decline in oil demand, will see the Western Hemisphere become almost totally energy sufficient by 2030.

This, says the Energy Outlook, means that growth in the rest of the world, principally Asia, will depend increasingly on the Middle East in particular for growing oil requirements.

Coal will continue to gain market share through 2020, but will then wane through 2030 and gas growth will remain steady. Non-fossil fuels are likely to contribute nearly 50 per cent of growth after 2020.

Power generation will be the fastest-growing user of energy in the period and will account for more than 50 per cent of the total growth in primary energy use. The greatest changes in the fuel mix are expected in the power sector. Renewables, nuclear and hydropower should account for more than 50 per cent of growth in the power sector.

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