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Global energy supply: sufficient, secure, sustainable?

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The BP Energy Outlook 2035 outlines that global energy consumption is expected to rise by 41% from 2012 to 2035, compared to 55% over the last 23 years, and 30% over the last ten. 

Demand will continue to increase at an average of 1.5%/y to 2035. Growth is expected to moderate over this period, climbing at an average of 2%/y to 2020 and then by only 1.2%/y to 2035. 95% of this growth is expected to come from non-OECD countries, with China and India accounting for more than half of the rise. By 2035, energy use in the non-OECD economies is expected to be 69% higher than in 2012. In comparison, use in OECD countries will have grown by only 5%, and actually have fallen after 2030.

BP Group Executive, Bob Dudley, said: ‘The Outlook leads us to three big questions: Is there enough energy to meet growing demand? Can we meet demand reliably? And what are the consequences of meeting demand? In other words, is the supply sufficient, secure and sustainable?

‘On the first question, our answer is a resounding ‘yes’. The growth rate for global demand is slower than what we have seen in previous decades, largely as a result of increasing energy efficiency. Trends in global technology, investment and policy leave us confident that production will be able to keep pace.’

On the question of security, the Outlook offers a mixed, though broadly positive, view. The US is on the path to energy self-sufficiency and will produce 101% of its energy needs by 2035. Meanwhile, import dependence in Europe, China and India will increase. Asia is expected to become the dominant energy importing region. Dudley noted that: ‘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, the outlook 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.

See also BP Energy Outlook 2035 for a summary of key findings.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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