In its latest outlook, BP has bumped down its forecasts for fossil fuel demand, while lifting up its estimates for nuclear and renewables. The outlook, one of the energy sector’s most closely read studies, looks ahead to 2050 and lays out a few potential scenarios for the evolution of the energy sector.
Under the most talked about (and most realistic) “New Momentum” scenario, which is designed to “reflect the current broad trajectory” of the world’s energy system, oil demand would fall to about 93 million barrels a day in 2035 – about 5.5% less than BP was forecasting just a year ago – while demand for natural gas would be 6.4% lower. Demand for nuclear power would be 2.1% higher than previously forecast, and renewables 5.3% higher.
BP cites three major factors behind its outlook revisions. First, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the resulting disruption to oil and gas supplies have pushed countries to pursue greater energy security by investing in domestic renewable and nuclear power. Second, the higher food and energy prices associated with the conflict have contributed to a sharp slowdown in global economic growth, leading to lower overall energy demand. Third, the multibillion-dollar US support package for clean energy has accelerated the drive toward renewables in the world’s biggest economy.
BP now estimates that global carbon emissions under its New Momentum scenario will peak in the 2020s and reach 37.8 gigatonnes in 2030 – about 4% lower than it outlined last year. But despite the declines, global emissions would fall only 30% from 2019 levels by 2050 – a far cry from the 95% drop required for the world to achieve net zero emissions. The sobering summary: we’re still way off track from achieving net zero in 2050…
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