Renewable energy and biofuels will be the fastest growing segment in energy, according to BP, but fossil will still rule the roost.
The annual report from the energy giant (see full PDF here) predicts that overall demand for energy will grow 39 percent from 2010 to 2030 and the fastest growing segment will lay in renewable fuels, which includes green electricity and biofuels. Renewable energy will grow at 8.2 percent a year, faster than natural gas, the fastest growing fossil fuel, at 2.1 percent.
Renewables will account for 18 percent of the total growth in energy by 2030, a pace that puts the industry on par with the emergence of nuclear in the 1970s and 1980s. Non-fossil fuels (renewables, hydro and nuclear) will account for 36 percent of the total growth in energy by 2030, more than the growth of any single fossil fuel.
Nonetheless, the world will still get most of its fuel from fossil sources. By 2030, oil, natural gas and coal will each account for around 26 to 27 percent of the world's energy diet while hydroelectric power, nuclear power and renewables will account for around 6 to 7 percent each. The numbers also assume that wide swaths of the population aren't wiped out by Ebola outbreaks or other diseases spread by a warming ecosystem. But I digress.
Other highlights from the report:
--Energy efficiency will help energy consumption per capita stay in check. The world right now is witnessing a familiar cycle in which energy consumption is increasing with the emergence of new economies, but consumption will decrease as the mature. Energy consumption growth with average 1.7 percent a year from 2010 to 2030, but start to decelerate after 2020.
--Approximately 93 percent of energy growth from 2010 to 2030 will occur in non-OECD countries. Only six percent occurs in the more advanced nations. In fact, from 2020 on, energy consumption per capita will begin to decline in OECD nations. Weirdly, energy consumed to generate energy accounts for the biggest spurt in growth. 57 percent of the growth in energy between now and 2030 will get consumed generating power.
--Emissions will grow by 10 percent in OECD nations and 53 percent in non-OECD nations. Emission levels will stabilize but not enough to get us below 450 parts per million.
--Oil demand will grow by 16.5 million barrels a day to hit 102 million barrels a day. 13 million of those new daily barrels will go to Asia. Demand in OECD nations will decline by 4 million barrels a day.
--China's oil consumption will overtake the U.S. by 2030, hitting 17.5 million barrels a day. (The U.S. will decline from its current 20 million plus levels)
--Russia and Saudi Arabia will keep their 12 percent market shares in oil. Rising stars: Iraq and the deep waters off Brazil. OPEC's overall share of the oil market will grow from 40 to 46 percent. Oh, joy.
--Electric cars and compressed natural gas are interesting, but who really cares. The decline in fuel for transport will be rooted in improvements in mileage, higher oil prices, transportation saturation (ball of confusion!) and biofuels.
--Biofuels will grow from 1.8 million barrels a day to 6.5 million barrels a day by 2030. But keep hope alive. Approximately 40 percent of the growth in liquid fuels after 2020 and 60 percent of the growth after 2030 comes from biofuels.
--The world has 6,621 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, enough for 63 years of production at current levels. Demand, though, will increase. By 2030, gas will account for 41 percent of fossil fuel-created electricity in the U.S. Worldwide, gas's share of total electricity will grow from 20.5 percent to 22 percent and its share of fossil fuel-created power will jump from 30 to 37 percent.