Canadian Biomass Magazine

BP forecast has renewables growing fast to 2030

February 11, 2012
By Scott Jamieson

Feb. 11, 2012, London - Petroleum giant BP has released its Energy Outlook 2030, which shows renewable energy growing the fastest of all fuels, with natural gas leading among fossil fuels.

The report shows the global share of renewable energy climbing from close to zero in 1990 to over 6% by 2030, a growth rate of 8.2% per annum from 2010 to 2030. Natural gas by comparison will grow at an annual rate of 2.1%.

In OECD countries, the big story will be fuel substitution, with oil and coal being replaced increasingly by renewables and natural gas. In non-OECD nations, the story is just more energy use of all kinds, including coal and nuclear.

OECD total energy consumption is virtually flat, but there are significant shifts in the fuel mix, the forecast predicts. Renewables displace oil in transport and coal in power generation; gas gains at the expense of coal in power. These shifts are driven by a combination of relative fuel prices, technological innovation and policy interventions. The economic development of non-OECD countries creates an appetite for energy that can only be met by expanding all fuels. For many developing countries the imperative remains securing affordable energy to underpin economic development.

The growth of global energy consumption is increasingly being met by non-fossil fuels. Renewables, nuclear and hydro together account for 34% of the growth; this aggregate non-fossil contribution is, for the first time, larger than the contribution of any single fossil fuel. Renewables on their own contribute more to world energy growth than oil, but the largest single fuel contribution comes from gas, which will meet 31% of the projected growth in global energy according to BP forecasters.

See the full forecast here.

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