1. Home
  2. Energy economics
  3. Energy Outlook
  4. Charting the energy transition

Charting the energy transition

Introducing a new series based on the analysis in bp’s 2020 Energy Outlook


Each article in this series will be written by one of bp’s subject matter experts and will explore a different element of the energy transition and the role it could play in a low carbon future. 

Charting the energy transition

“The energy transition is accelerating, and the world of energy is becoming more complex and more varied than ever before.” 

Spencer Dale, group chief economist

2020 was a pivotal year for climate action. There is now real momentum behind efforts to achieve the Paris goals. And companies will play a central role in delivering these targets – many of those companies, who like bp, have set out a path to transition their business to net zero.


We do not have all the answers, and we know that there is no one path to net zero. We hope by sharing the information that underpinned bp’s strategy, we can contribute to the conversation and learn from others. 

Future demand for plastics

The strong link between economic development and the use of plastics means the use of oil as a feedstock for plastics continues to grow over the next decade in all three of the Energy Outlook scenarios. However, growth is slower than in the past as environmental pressures on the use of plastics increase.

The future role of electricity and hydrogen

Widespread electrification is the simplest and cheapest way to decarbonize the energy system, thanks to the increasing competitiveness of wind and solar technologies

Engine oil liquid is being stirred in a blend pot at BP's Technology Centre at Pangbourne in Berkshire, UK.

Declining oil demand and its effect on market dynamics

The global energy mix is set to become far more diversified, with renewables and fossil fuels providing a significant share of world energy. Falling oil demand may lead to greater competition among oil producers as the pursuit of market share intensifies

The impact of Covid-19 on the global energy system

The disruptions associated with COVID-19 may lead to a process of deglobalization, as countries seek to increase their resilience by becoming less dependent on imported goods and services

The energy system in a carbon-neutral world

Today, fossil fuels represent 85% of total primary energy consumption. A transition to a lower carbon energy system is likely to lead to a fundamental restructuring of the ‎global energy system. Such a transition is a huge challenge, but is achievable if governments, companies and wider society pull together

The role of natural gas in a low carbon world

The role of fossil fuels declines over the next 30 years, but natural gas remains more resilient as it supports the shift away from coal and provides a source of near-zero-carbon energy, when combined with CCUS, as the world increasingly decarbonizes

Carbon pricing and emissions-heavy crudes

The first in our series looks at the impact of carbon pricing on the supply of the most emissions-heavy crudes

Not all crudes are made in the same way. Different crudes have different carbon intensities and those differences could have a significant impact on cost and competitiveness, depending on carbon prices

Be the first to know...

Sign up to our energy economics newsletter and we'll email you when the next in this new series in published

Enter your email address to register for news

Energy Outlook 2020

Explore the report, download the data or watch the replay of Spencer Dale's 2020 presentation