BP Energy Outlook 2016 sets out a base case which outlines the ‘most likely’ path for global energy markets until 2035, based on assumptions and judgments about future changes in policy, technology and the economy. Global demand for energy is set to continue to grow over the next two decades as prosperity increases and the world’s population rises. However, the mix of fuels used will change, driven by technological advances and environmental concerns, and demand will grow more slowly than in the past as energy is used more efficiently. Carbon emissions will continue to rise, but also slower than in the past. The world economy is expected to almost double over the next 20 years, driven by emerging economies, with growth averaging 3.4% per year and, more than 2 billion people lifted from low incomes. Meanwhile, the world’s population is projected to increase by around 1.5 billion people to reach nearly 8.8 billion. Rising prosperity drives an increase in global energy demand, although the extent of this growth is substantially offset by rapid gains in energy efficiency. Energy demand increases by only around 30% – around a third as much as the expected growth in the global economy.

The fuel mix continues to adjust: although fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy, renewables, together with nuclear and hydro energy, provide half of the additional energy required out to 2035. Natural gas is expected to grow faster than oil or coal, helped by the rapid growth of liquefied natural gas increasing the accessibility of gas across the globe. The most likely path sees carbon emissions from energy continuing to increase, indicating the need for further policy action and raising important choices and opportunities for our industry.

(BP Energy Outlook 2017 Edition)