The Energy Outlook sets out a base case which outlines the 'most likely' path for global energy markets until 2035, based on assumptions and judgments about future changes in policy, technology and the economy. The Outlook also develops alternative cases to explore key uncertainties
Spencer Dale, group chief economist, discusses the base case plus key themes and alternative scenarios in the BP Energy Outlook
The main story in this year's Energy Outlook is about the energy transition that is taking place and is likely to continue to take place over the next 20 years. On the demand side, there's a shift in the pattern of demand, away from the US and Europe to fast-growing Asian markets. On the supply side, the story is one of a continuing shift in the fuel mix towards lower carbon fuels.Spencer Dale, group chief economist – January 2017
In the base case, the world’s economy almost doubles in size over the Outlook period, driven by fast-growing emerging economies, as more than two billion people are lifted from low incomes.
This rising prosperity drives an increase in global energy demand, although the extent of this growth is substantially offset by rapid gains in energy efficiency. Energy demand increases by only around 30% - around a third as much as the expected growth in the global economy.
The fuel mix continues to adjust: although oil, gas and coal remain the dominant source of energy, renewables, together with nuclear and hydro energy, provide half of the additional energy required out to 2035. Natural gas is expected to grow faster than oil or coal, helped by the rapid growth of liquefied natural gas increasing the accessibility of gas across the globe.
The most likely path sees carbon emissions from energy continuing to increase, indicating the need for further policy action and raising important choices and opportunities for our industry.
Exploring four themes
Beyond the base case, the BP Energy Outlook examines some of the big issues that will shape energy supply and demand through to 2035 - and beyond.
There are many risks and uncertainties that could affect the trends discussed in the base case. By varying a few of the key assumptions and judgments underpinning the base case and assessing their impact, we explore ways in which three areas central to the energy transition story could play out in the next two decades.
Looking further ahead
While the Energy Outlook considers global energy trends over the next 20 years, we also consider some issues and questions that arise beyond 2035. The uncertainty about future energy trends increases substantially and, given this, we consider a range of possible outcomes and key factors.
Country and regional insights
Building on the Energy Outlook, our 'insights' factsheets provide projections at a country and regional level.
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