Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

BP: Oil Demand to Peak by 2040, With 5x Growth in Renewables

Energy
BP: Oil Demand to Peak by 2040, With 5x Growth in Renewables
Mike Mozart / Flickr

BP predicted that global oil consumption is likely to peak by the late 2030s partly due to the rise in renewable energy, electric vehicles and increasing regulations on single-use plastics.

The British oil giant released its "Energy Outlook" on Tuesday forecasting that demand for oil will peak at about 110 million barrels per day between 2035 and 2040 before gradually slowing and plateauing. Consumption is currently around 97 million barrels per day.


BP's annual Energy Outlook is based on predictions from its "Evolving Transition" scenario, which reflects government policies, technological and societal trends.

For one, BP predicts consumers will start shifting to electric vehicles, from 2 million EVs on the road in 2016 to more than 300 million by 2040.

Still, that 300 million figure only represents a 15 percent chunk of the predicted 2 billion passengers cars that will be on the road by 2040, meaning there's still a long way to go before the death of crude, BP execs say.

"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," BP's chief economist Spencer Dale noted to the Telegraph.

"Even in the scenario where we see an ICE [internal combustion engines] ban and very high efficiency standards, oil demand is still higher in 2040 than it is today."

Furthermore, the report's Evolving Transition scenario does predict that carbon emissions will continue to rise, as seen in the graph below:

"ET" = Evolving Transition

Bob Dudley, BP's CEO, noted that while there has been political and technological progress in slowing the growth of carbon emissions, "this slowing falls well short of the sharp drop in carbon emissions thought necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals."

As the BBC pointed out from the outlook, BP expects carbon emissions to rise 10 percent by 2040—which would fail the emissions pledges made in Paris. The company suggests that reducing oil output of 85 million barrels per day would satisfy the goals of the global climate accord.

On a positive note, BP recognizes that renewable energy is the fastest-growing fuel source and will increase five-fold by 2040 to meet about 14 percent of the world's primary energy consumption. That would explain why BP is betting some of its chips in this sector. Bloomberg reported that BP recently bought a $200 million stake in British solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd. and is considering a bid for Terra Firma's Rete Rinnovabile Srl, a solar company based in Italy.

Other measures are also putting a dent in oil demand. Dale told the Guardian that increasing regulations on plastics, such as bans on plastic bags, could mean 2 million barrels per day lower oil demand growth by 2040.

"Just around the world you see increasing awareness of the environmental damage associated with plastics and different types of packaging of one form of another," he told the Guardian.

Seattle-based Community Loaves uses home bakers to help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic. Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

By Lynn Freehill-Maye

The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Storks in a nest near a construction crane. In the past 50 years, America's bird populations have fallen by a third. Maria Urban / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

What does a biodiversity crisis sound like? You may need to strain your ears to hear it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The Biden administration is temporarily using Obama-era calculations of the "social cost" of three greenhouse gas pollutants while calculating a more accurate estimate. Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images

The Biden administration announced it will use Obama-era calculations of the "social cost" of three greenhouse gas pollutants while an interagency working group calculates a more complete estimate, the White House announced Friday.

Read More Show Less
Posts about climate change will now automatically be labelled with an information banner that directs people to accurate climate science data at Facebook's Climate Science Information Center. Facebook

By Anne-Sophie Brändlin

Facebook has started tackling dangerous climate change myths and anti-environment propaganda that circulates among the platform's almost 3 billion monthly users.

Read More Show Less
Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less