Global energy demand continues to grow but that growth is slowing and mainly driven by emerging economies—led by China and India—according to the BP Energy Outlook 2035, which was published last week.
This is the fourth annual edition of the BP Energy Outlook 2035, and for the first time it sets out BP’s view of the most likely developments in global energy markets further beyond 2030 to 2035, based on up-to-date analysis.
The BP Energy Outlook 2035 reveals that global energy consumption is expected to rise by 41 per cent from 2012 to 2035—compared to 55 per cent over the last 23 years (52 per cent over the last twenty) and 30% over the last ten. Ninety five per cent of that growth in demand is expected to come from the emerging economies, while energy use in the advanced economies of North America, Europe and Asia as a group is expected to grow only very slowly—and begin to decline in the later years of the forecast period.
For comparison, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2013 presents a central scenario in which global energy demand rises by one-third in the period to 2035. In a recent report called “Energy Perspectives” published by Statoil, company’s experts predict that global power demand will grow by 40% by 2040. The EIA projects that world energy consumption will grow even more—by 56% between 2010 and 2040. A Siemens study raises the bar even higher, saying that global power demand will increase on average by nearly 3 percent per year over the current and next decade.
Shares of the major fossil fuels are converging with oil, natural gas and coal each expected to make up around 27% of thetotal mix by 2035 and the remaining share coming from nuclear, hydroelectricity and renewables. Among fossil fuels, gas is growing fastest, increasingly being used as a cleaner alternative to coal for power generation as well as in other sectors.
Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive said that the BP Energy Outlook 2035 “highlights the power of competition and market forces in unlocking technology and innovation to meet the world’s energy needs. These factors make us optimistic for the world’s energy future.”
On the question of security, the BP Energy Outlook 2035 offers a mixed, though broadly positive, view. Among today’s energy importers, the United States is on a path to achieve energy self-sufficiency, while import dependence in Europe, China and India will increase. Asia is expected to become the dominant energy importing region. Dudley noted: “This need not be a cause for concern if the market is allowed to do its work, with new supply chains opening up to these big consuming regions.”
On the question of sustainability, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 29%, with all of the growth coming from the emerging economies. The BP Energy Outlook 2035 notes some positive signs: emissions growth is expected to slow as natural gas and renewables gain market share from coal and oil; and emissions are expected to decline in Europe and the US. Indeed towards the end of the period covered by the Outlook we expect many advanced countries will be seeing their economies grow while their energy use falls.
Renewables are expected to continue to be the fastest growing class of energy, gaining market share from a small base as they rise at an average of 6.4% a year to 2035. Renewables’ share of global electricity production is expected to grow from 5% to 14% by 2035. While the OECD economies have led in renewables growth, renewables in the non-OECD are catching up and are expected to account for 45% of the total by 2035. Including biofuels, renewables are expected to have a higher share of primary energy than nuclear by 2025.
Nuclear energy output is expected to rise to 2035 at around 1.9% a year. China, India and Russia will together account for 96% of the global growth in nuclear power, while nuclear output in the US and EU declines due to expected plant closures.