New BP report provides projections of the global energy market

15th Feb 2016

BP published the 2016 edition of the “Energy Outlook” which provides projections of the global energy market through to 2035.

The report identifies three emerging themes that will shape the energy sector over the coming decades:

  • The global demand for energy is likely to increase markedly. As the world economy expands, driven by the urbanising and industrialising economies of Asia, more energy will be required to fuel the higher levels of activity and living standards.
  • Over the coming decades the global fuel mix is likely to change, although fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy. Oil, gas and coal will provide around 60% of the growth in energy and account for almost 80% of total energy supply in 2035.
  • Finally, the growth of carbon emissions is projected to significantly slow over the coming decades relative to the previous 20 years: 0.9% versus 2.1% p.a. Driven by faster gains in energy efficiency and a shift towards lower-carbon fuels the link between economic growth and carbon emissions is gradually decoupling, according to the paper.

The population and economic forecasts of the BP outlook are largely consistent with other prominent forecasting documents, such as the IEA’s World Energy Outlook. Over the coming decades, developing economies, especially those in Southeast Asia will emerge as key drivers of the global energy market. However, while the IEA noted that key economies of the region are turning to coal as a source of affordable and abundant energy, BP’s Energy Outlook fails to consider this. Indeed the IEA forecasts that to meet the increase in demand, 400 GW of power generation capacity – roughly equal to the combined installed capacity of Japan and Korea today – will be added across the region between now and 2040, of which 40% is coal fired.

The World Coal Association’s Chief Executive, Benjamin Sporton commented following the publication of BP’s Energy Outlook and highlighted the role of coal in emerging economies, calling for greater partnerships among energy stakeholders.