September 14, 2020 Read More →

BP energy outlook sees global fossil fuel demand falling for first time this year

Reuters:

Fossil fuel consumption is set to shrink for the first time in modern history as climate policies boost renewable energy while the coronavirus epidemic leaves a lasting effect on global energy demand, BP said in a forecast.

BP’s 2020 benchmark Energy Outlook underpins Chief Executive Bernard Looney’s new strategy to “reinvent” the 111-year old oil and gas company by shifting renewables and power. It includes three scenarios that assume different levels of government policies aimed at meeting the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Under its central scenario, BP forecasts COVID-19 will knock around 3 million barrels per day (bpd) off by 2025 and 2 million bpd by 2050. In its two aggressive scenarios, COVID-19 accelerates the slowdown in oil consumption, leading to it peaking last year. In the third scenario, oil demand peaks at around 2030.

While the share of fuels has shrunk in the past as a percentage of the total energy pie, their consumption has never contracted in absolute terms, BP chief economist Spencer Dale told reporters.

“(The energy transition) would be an unprecedented event,” Dale said. “Never in modern history has the demand for any traded fuel declined in absolute terms.” At the same time, “the share of renewable energy grows more quickly than any fuel ever seen in history.”

Even with energy demand set to expand on the back of growing population and emerging economies, the sources of energy will shift dramatically to renewable sources such as wind and solar, Dale said. The share of fossil fuels is set to decline from 85% of total primary energy demand in 2018 to between 20% and 65% by 2050 in the three scenarios. At the same time, the share of renewables is set to grow from 5% in 2018 to up to 60% by 2050.

[Ron Bousso]

More: Fossil fuel demand to take historic knock amid COVID-19 scars: BP

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