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bp publishes global energy outlook

Thursday, 17 September 2020

bp released its Energy Outlook 2020 on 14 September, in which they explore three different pathways for the global energy transition over the next 30 years, to 2050.

The three scenarios are:

  1. Business-as-usual - taking into account implemented policies and technologies, with their trajectories continuing current trends and carbon prices between 29-54 Euros/tCO2. This still sees emissions dropping in 2050 below current (2018) levels, but only by 10%.
  2. Rapid - also counts upon sizeable carbon prices, reducing emissions in 2050 by 70% of current levels, and is in line with limiting global warming below 2°C by 2100. The carbon prices envisaged range from 147-210 Euro/tCO2, and are dependent upon region and economy.
  3. Net Zero - Similar to rapid, but also relying on consumer behavioral change to reduce emissions. Results in an emission reduction of 95% and warming below 1.5ºC.

While divergent results from the three scenarios are apparent, there are a common set of 'core beliefs' which will shape the energy demand:

  • Renewable energy and efficiency playing a growing role in the energy mix.
  • Fossil oil and gas will still be needed, but increasingly challenged.
  • Customers will redefine mobility and convenience, spurred by developments in electric vehicles, shared mobility (ride-sharing), and autonomy (driverless vehicles).

Which further underpins the likely changes:

  • Diversification in energy mix, with demand and preferences being the main drivers rather than supply and resource scarcity.
  • Further market integration to accommodate a wide variety of products, as demanded.
  • A market shift towards smaller consumer groups seeking tailored solutions, as opposed to traditional large upstream consumers.

CEO of bp, Bernard Looney commented "The bp Energy Outlook is invaluable in helping us better ‎understand the changing energy landscape and it was instrumental in helping us develop our ‎new strategy."

The outlook also ties biomethane to the fortunes of LNG. While post-pandemic demand should see a recovery in demand, a drop in global LNG exports is expected, with an uptick in domestic production compensating. Biomethane as an LNG replacement is expected to play a significant role in the resulting domestic mixes.

Bioenergy in particular was seen as key in the consumption mix for the rapid scenario, although supply may limit further uptake in a net-zero scenario. 

Biomass will likely comprise the lion's share of the bioenergy mix, followed by biofuels then biomethane.

The entire report, as well as tailored snapshots are available via the BP website.


Bioenergy Insight

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