Industrialisation and prosperity to drive global energy demand

2nd Mar 2018

In its 2018 Energy Outlook, BP shows how growing industrialisation and prosperity will drive an increase in global energy demand and how that demand will be met with the most diverse energy mix the world has ever seen. The report notes that for emerging and industrialising economies like China, India and Southeast Asia, coal will continue to be the fuel of choice.

Coal demand in India and in Southeast Asia continues to increase as it fuels their growing needs. India’s share of global coal demand more than doubles from around 10% in 2016 to about 25% in 2040.

The Outlook highlights that China is moving away from coal in small boilers for heating in homes and buildings, which leads to a decrease in coal demand over the next ten years. However, coal still accounts for more than half of the country’s energy mix. Over the last five years as China increased its solar and wind capacity, it also increased coal generation by a third. For many, this might be a paradox, but renewables complement rather than displace coal – this is a trend that we see across Asia.

Despite the well-documented growth of renewables, BP’s 2018 Energy Outlook forecasts that fossil fuels, including coal, will remain dominant sources of energy in the global energy mix through to 2040.

Given BP’s forecasts, we all need to do more to encourage the wider deployment of crucial low emissions technologies to help us meet global climate goals, including carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). CCUS technologies can reduce emissions from fossil fuels by up to 90%.

The 2018 BP Energy Outlook suggests that among other initiatives such as efficiency, we’re likely to need policies focusing on particular technologies that will help in reducing emissions.   

The World Coal Association has long called for the fossil fuel industry to work together with governments to drive deployment CCUS.  After all, we share similar objectives – to reduce the emissions profile of fossil fuels while ensuring global energy security.