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article imageEnergy needs to be strong until 2030, BP forecasts, exits solar

By Lynn Herrmann     Jan 23, 2012 in Business
Washington - BP states global energy demand will reach a 39 percent increase by 2030, or 1.6 percent annual increase, and greenhouse gas emissions will likely increase by about 28 percent during the same period, even as the company plans to exit the solar industry.
In its annual forecast, Energy Outlook 2030, published last week, BP notes oil, currently the world’s leading fuel, “will continue to lose market share throughout the period” even as demand for hydrocarbon liquids increases 18 percent during the same time frame, up to 103 million barrels per day in 2030.
“This report is by turns challenging, fascinating and stimulating for anyone in the energy business. It helps us to be both realistic and optimistic. It shows there are things we can’t change - like the underlying drivers of energy demand - and things we can change – like the way we satisfy that demand,” said BP chief executive Bob Dudley, in a company statement.
Energy Outlook 2030 forecasts a “strong growth for renewable energy,” including biofuels, making it the fastest growing sector in the global energy market, increasing at an annual rate of eight percent. This is a far quicker growth rate than natural gas, expected to grow at a two percent annual rate to 2030, the fastest growing fossil fuel.
A growth in the “unconventional supply” market, including Canada’s tar sands oil, shale oil and gas (fracking) in the U.S., and Brazilian deepwaters, combined with a decline in oil demand - although not stated in the report, likely due to a decline in oil - will, according to BP, allow the Western Hemisphere to
become almost totally energy self-sufficient by 2030.
As a result, growth in the rest of the world, particularly Asia, will become increasingly dependent on oil from the Middle East.
The report notes China’s current “energy intensive growth path” will see a considerable slowdown after 2020 due to its maturing economy.
India, with a rapidly increasing population expected to surpass China’s, will see its energy consumption more than double its current use by 2030.
BP noted global CO2 emissions “could begin to decline” by 2030 “if more aggressive policies than currently envisioned are introduced.”
Even with the forecast growth in renewables, BP announced in an internal letter in December its solar division is shutting down over a period of several months, claiming its efforts in the solar power industry over the last 40 years is no longer profitable, Bloomberg News reports.
Announcement of the shutdown is not expected to impact its investments in other renewable energy divisions, with its interest in biofuels expanding. BP said in September it spent $96 million on two sugar-cane processors in Brazil.
“The main message is that we need to have an open, competitive energy sector, which encourages innovation and thereby maximizes efficiency in order to enjoy energy that is sufficient, secure and sustainable into the future,” Dudley added.
More about energy forecast, shutting down, CO2 Emissions, energy needs, Oil
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