Global energy demand continues to grow but that growth is slowing and mainly driven by emerging economies – led by China and India – according to the BP Energy Outlook 2035, published last month (see inforgraphic on the right for a summary).
The Outlook reveals that global energy consumption is expected to rise by 41% from 2012 to 2035 – compared to 55% over the last 23 years (52% over the last twenty) and 30% over the last ten. Ninety five per cent of that growth in demand is expected to come from the emerging economies, while energy use in the advanced economies of North America, Europe and Asia as a group is expected to grow only very slowly – and begin to decline in the later years of the forecast period.
Shares of the major fossil fuels are converging with oil, natural gas and coal each expected to make up around 27% of the total mix by 2035 and the remaining share coming from nuclear, hydroelectricity and renewables. Among fossil fuels, gas is growing fastest, increasingly being used as a cleaner alternative to coal for power generation as well as in other sectors.
On the question of sustainability, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 29%, with all of the growth coming from the emerging economies. BP chief economist Christof Rühl said: “People are finding ways to use energy more efficiently because it saves them money. This is also good for the environment – the less energy we use the less carbon we emit. For example CO2 emissions in the US are back at 1990s’ levels.”