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The changing energy mix

The demand for energy continues to grow – largely driven by rising incomes in emerging economies and a global population heading towards nine billion by 2040. At the same time, the energy mix is changing as technology advances, consumer preferences shift and policy measures evolve
 

Renewables are now the fastest-growing energy source in history and we estimate that they could account for 14% of all energy consumption in 2040 – if not more. That said, oil and gas could meet at least 40% of the world’s energy needs in 2040 – even on a course that’s consistent with the Paris goal of limiting global warming to less than 2°C.

 

Gas offers a much cleaner alternative to coal for power generation and can lower emissions at scale. It also provides a valuable back-up for renewables intermittency, delivers heating at the high temperatures required by industry and is increasingly used in transportation.

 

Oil is the primary fuel for transport today. We expect its share of the total energy mix will gradually decline as we see more energy efficiency in traditional engines, greater use of biofuels and natural gas, and growth in fully electric and hybrid vehicles in the years ahead.

 

With oil and gas in high demand for years to come, it’s essential that action is taken to reduce emissions from their production and use.

Energy consumption – 2040 projections
Energy consumption – 2040 projections

Evolving transition

In this scenario, government policies, technology and social preferences evolve in a manner and speed seen in the recent past. The growing world economy requires more energy but consumption increases less quickly than in the past.

 

Faster transition

This scenario sees carbon prices rising faster than in the evolving transition scenario, with other policy interventions encouraging more rapid energy efficiency gains and fuel switching.

 

Even faster transition

This scenario matches carbon emissions similar to the International Energy Agency’s sustainable development scenario, which aims to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

See bp.com/energyoutlook for more information on our projections of future energy trends and factors that could affect them out to 2040.