Renewable energy to grow 400% by 2040

Increasing competitiveness of wind and solar energy will see renewables grow by over 400% by 2040 if current trends continue, according to new predictions by BP.

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The oil and gas giant said that renewables would provide around 14% of primary energy by that time, and account for over half the global increase in power generation, which will rise by a third.

It expects China to be the largest source of renewable energy growth, adding more than the entire OECD combined, while subsidies should be gradually phased out by the mid-2020s.

“We are seeing growing competition between different energy sources, driven by abundant energy supplies, and continued improvement in energy efficiency,” BP group chief economist, Spencer Dale, said.

“As the world learns to do more with less demand for energy will be met by the most diverse fuel mix we have ever seen.”

BP’s predictions were published in a report on Tuesday, which states that oil, gas, coal and non-fossil fuels will each contribute around a quarter to the global energy mix by 2040.

Demand for oil and gas is expected to grow for much of this period, with these two fuels accounting for over half the world’s energy by that time as coal consumption flat lines.

Carbon emissions are also expected to increase over the next 20 years, which BP said would signal a need for a “decisive break from the past”.

Although the firm forecasts the number of electric cars to grow significantly, it said that the speed at which adoption increases remains a key uncertainty in the period to 2040.

Dale continued: “The suggestion that rapid growth in electric cars will cause oil demand to collapse just isn’t supported by the basic numbers – even with really rapid growth.

“Even in the scenario where we see very high efficiency standards, oil demand is still higher in 2040 than it is today.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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