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.
Global energy consumption is expected to rise by 41 percent from 2012 to 2035 – compared to 55 percent over the last 23 years (52 per cent over the last 20) and 30 percent over the last decade. Ninety five percent 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.
Shares of the major fossil fuels are converging, with oil, natural gas and coal each expected to make up around 27 percent of the total 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, the outlook says.
Global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 29 percent from 2012 to 2035, with all of the growth coming from the emerging economies. The report 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.
On the question of security, the report 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, the report says.
US Energy Information Administration figures released in July predicted that over the next three decades, world energy consumption will increase by 56 percent, driven by growth in the developing world.