‘Little growth in OECD energy use by 2030’

Energy consumption in developed countries in 2030 is likely to be only slightly higher than today, according to a study published last week by BP. In contrast, consumption in emerging markets looks set to double.

BP Energy Outlook 2030 provides the oil giant’s projections of future energy trends. It estimates that world primary energy consumption grew by 45% over the past 20 years. For the next two decades it predicts growth of 19%. Global energy consumption, BP forecasts, will average 1.7% a year from 2010 to 2030, with growth decelerating gently beyond 2020.

The energy consumption of countries outside of the Organisation of ­Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) area is forecast to be 68% higher by 2030, averaging 2.6% a year growth from 2010. (article continues below)

If BP is correct, non-OECD countries will account for 93% of global energy growth over the next 20 years.

OECD energy consumption, meanwhile, is predicted to be just 6% higher than today, with growth averaging 0.3% to 2030. Perhaps more surprisingly, OECD energy consumption per head is forecast to decline by 0.2% per year.

Energy efficiency, measured as energy per unit of GDP, will improve at an accelerating rate. BP says this trend will restrain overall growth of primary energy globally, as well as within almost all key countries and regions.

The fuel mix is likely to change slowly, owing to the long lifetimes of energy-consuming assets. Gas and non-fossil fuels are predicted to gain share at the expense of coal and oil.