Global energy demand will continue to grow over the next 20
years, albeit at a slowing annual rate, fueled by economic and
population growth in non-OECD countries. Increased energy
efficiency and strong growth for renewable energy are also
forecast in BPs Energy Outlook 2030, which was recently
Global energy demand is likely to grow by 39% by 2030, or
1.6% annually, almost entirely in non-OECD countries;
consumption in OECD countries is expected to rise by just 4% in
total over the period. Global energy will remain dominated by
fossil fuels, which are forecast to account for 81% of global
energy demand by 2030 down about 6% from current levels. The
period should also see increased fuel-switching, with more gas
and renewables use at the expense of coal and oil.
Gradual switching should see renewables, including biofuels, continue to be the
fastest-growing sources of energy globally, rising at an annual
clip of more than 8%, much quicker even than natural gas, the
fastest-growing fossil fuel at about 2% per year over the
period to 2030.
BP chief economist Christof Rühl argues that the impact
of globalization and competition will continue to deliver a
remarkable convergence in energy intensity around the world
(Fig. 1), a measure of energy use per unit of national economic
Fig. 1. Convergence of
energy intensity and fuel shares.
The growth of unconventional supply, including US shale oil
and gas, Canadian oil sands and Brazilian deepwaters, against a
background of a gradual decline in oil demand, will see the
Western Hemisphere become almost totally energy self-sufficient
by 2030. This means that growth in the rest of the world,
principally Asia, will depend increasingly on the Middle East
for its growing oil requirements.
Oil will continue to lose market share throughout the
period, although demand for hydrocarbon liquids will still reach 103
million bpd in 2030, up by 18% from 2010. This means the world
will still need to bring on enough liquids to meet the
forecasted 16 million bpd of extra demand by 2030 and replace
declining output from existing sources.
While coal is expected to continue gaining market share in
the current decade, growth will wane in the 20202030
decade; gas growth will remain steady and non-fossil fuels are
likely to contribute nearly half of the growth after 2020.
Power generation is expected to be the fastest-growing user
of energy in the period to 2030, accounting for more than half
the total growth in primary energy use. And it is in the power
sector where the greatest changes in the fuel mix are expected.
Renewables, nuclear and hydroelectric should account for more
than half the growth in power generation.
In China, growth of energy use is expected to slow
significantly after 2020 as the economy matures (Fig. 2).
Although Indias population is on track
to exceed Chinas, its energy growth path is unlikely to
replicate Chinas energy intensive growth path. It will
more than double its energy use to 2030, heavily based on coal,
but this will still result in the consumption of some 1.3
billion toe, or just over one quarter of Chinas
Fig. 2. Energy
consumption growth in India and
There will remain a heavy reliance on higher oil exports from
Middle East OPEC countries to meet demand. BPs analysis
suggests that the Middle East countries have the capability to
bring on the required new production to meet global demand,
even though the regions energy use per capita is expected
to remain more than three times as high as the rest of the
BP expects to see steady progress in longstanding efforts to
displace oil with gas and to improve the efficiency of energy
use within the region. Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and regional
production of gas-related liquids will dominate supply growth
as the regions share of global oil supply rises to 34% by
Transportation is likely to be the slowest-growing sector
for global energy consumption; significant improvements in fuel
efficiency, including hybridization of vehicles, will partly
offset continued strong growth in vehicle sales in emerging
markets. Hybrid vehicles (including plug-ins) offer consumer
flexibility and appear capable of meeting anticipated fuel
economy targets in 2030; oil is likely to account for 87% of
transport sector energy use, down from 95% today, with biofuels filling most of the gap and
accounting for 7% of transport sector energy use.
Global CO2 emissions are likely to rise by
about 28% by 2030. If more aggressive policies than currently
envisioned are introduced, global CO2 emissions could begin to decline by
By 2030, energy importers will need to import 40% more than
they do today, but the experience will vary by region. In North
America, efforts to reduce dependence on foreign supplies
should show impressive results in the next couple of decades.
Bolstered by supply growth from biofuels, as well as unconventional
oil and gas, North Americas energy deficit will turn into
a small surplus by 2030.
In contrast, Europes energy deficit remains
at current levels for oil and coal but will increase by some
two-thirds for natural gas, supplied by LNG and pipelines from
the former Soviet Union.
Chinas energy deficit across all fuels will widen by
more than a factor of five and Indias (mainly oil and coal),
will more than double in the period to 2030.