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Jan. 19, 2011

Green Supply Chain News: Fascinating Look at our Global Energy Future in New Report from BP


Energy Efficiency Improving Rapidly, but Growth of Developing Economies Means Little Change in the Big Picture by 2030

By The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff

For the first time, BP has released publicly an annual study that it used to publish only internally on the future of global energy.

Titled the BP Energy Outlook 2030, the work is a fascinating and outstanding projection of the energy world in 20 years and how the evolution from now until then will occur.

The Green Supply
Chain Says:
Despite growing energy efficiency by all types of countries, and financial penalties/ incentives to reduce C02 emissions total CO2 emissions globally are going to continue rising through 2030, driven by emissions from developing countries even as they abate modestly in the developing economies.

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The report borrows from BP's annual Statistical Review of World Energy, which this year will mark its 60th anniversary and always has been made publicly available.

In making the Outlook publicly available for the first time, BP says it believes that "it is part of our responsibility as a company to make important information and analysis available for public debate – all the more so if the issue at hand is as vital to all of us as is energy, its relation to economic development on one side, and to climate change on the other."

BP adds that the report seeks to identify long term energy trends, that combined with its views on the evolution of the world economy, government policies, and technology have enabled it to develop a projection for world energy markets to 2030.

"It is a projection, not a proposition, and this is an important distinction," BP says.

The report contains an absolute wealth of insight and graphics, the full scope of which is beyond what we can possible well summarize here. Below, we call out some of the highlights. The full report is available for free download here: BP Energy Outlook 2030.

While there will be significant changes in the patterns of world energy consumption, away to a degree from oil and coal to natural gas and alternative energies, those changes in the end will be overwhelmed by the tremendous growth in energy demand from developing economies.

As shown in the chart below, the growth in world population, GDP and energy consumption will be dominated by those developing economies over the next 20 years, as they have in recent decades as well.

Currently, for example, energy consumption between developed and developing economies is about equal. By 2030, energy consumption by currently developing economies will far exceed that of the roughly 34 countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (Note: TOE stands for Tonne of Oil Equivalent).




Though "Energy Efficiency," or the energy required to produce a unit of GDP, continues to improve almost everywhere, and at an accelerating rate, lifestyle and other factors will result in the energy consumption per capital growing over the next 20 years at about the same rate as it did from 1970-90, at about .7% per year. Combined with population and GPD growth (1.4 billion more people by 2030, BP projects, and real incomes up about 100% during that time.), that means total energy consumption expands substantially.

Where will the energy come from by then? As shown in the graphic bellow, while the growth of oil and coal usage by 2030 will be much less than that for natural gas and roughly on par with renewables, they will still represent a substantial amount of the total energy picture, with gas, oil, and coal all converging on about a 27% share of total energy consumption by that time.



That in turn means that despite growing energy efficiency by all types of countries, and financial penalties/incentives to reduce C02 emissions (which the BP report projects will happen), total CO2 emissions globally are going to continue rising through 2030, driven by emissions from developing countries even as they abate modestly in the developing economies.



This really just scratches the surface of the full report, which we encourage readers to review.


What strikes you from the BP report data? Anywhere where you disagree with BP's projections? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below. is now Twittering! Follow us at

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