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One thing we have learnt this week – energy outlook 2035

One thing we have learnt this week – energy outlook 2035 thumbnail

BP produces two important energy documents a year, the “Statistical Review of World Energy” and the “Energy outlook”.  The energy outlook has just been published looking forward to 2035.  This post will pick out some of the most salient points and make some comments on them.

  • BP see energy demand rising inexorably.  They say that global population will be 1.6 billion higher in 2035 and these people will need at least some energy.  Thus energy demand will rise almost 40% over the next 20 years.  My view is this is broadly correct, global population will not have peaked in 20 years and it seems a likely value.  The BP energy outlook examines the economics behind this data which I have ignored.
  • The energy outlook 2035 prediction of where this energy demand growth comes from is very interesting.  It looks like energy demand has peaked in the developed world.  All future growth comes from the developing world.  This is something this blog has covered before.  Again this seems likely but is predicated on off-shoring and globalisation.  With peak oil this will go into reverse and may reverse this trend in both the developed and developing world.  At the same time this growth in energy demand is slowing everywhere.
  • BP see where this energy is coming from changing.  The share from coal and oil plunges, gas rises and renewables overtakes nuclear and hydro.  Whilst the share of of coal and oil declines the total amount used is still growing overall (developed world only).  BP still see a major role for oil and gas (funny that) and probably underestimate renewables contribution (most people have in the past).
  • On costs they give a wide range but solar could be competitive with onshore wind, gas and coal by 2035.  Nuclear is not even compared!  Again this is conservative on solar.  Once solar hits grid parity which is close in many countries its growth will be explosive meaning costs plummet further.
  • One of the most interesting predictions in the Energy outlook 2035 is around shale oil and gas.  BP think the contribution made by these will be negligible except in the USA.  This is down to social and geological factors.  Like the IEA BP think that US shale oil will go into decline soon but gas won’t.  I’m not sure I agree about US gas production, but its hard to argue with their overall view.  Shale is never going to happen in most places.
  • The most worrying finding is that carbon emissions rise 25% by 2035.  They have to be falling long before this to stand any chance of limiting any increase to 2ºC.  The reasons for this predicted failure are insufficient penetration of renewables in my view.  One piece of good news from the energy outlook is that energy efficiency is rising and making an increasing contribution

Overall can we meet all this increasing energy demand from fossil fuels?  It seems unlikely.  Peak oil is not dead merely sleeping.

the oil lamp

15 Comments on "One thing we have learnt this week – energy outlook 2035"

  1. Mark Shaw on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 10:18 pm 

    Oil company has to be oil company and they have to say all things positive about Oil.

    If the battery for storage becomes commercial, then expect Solar and Wind to skyrocket.

    Global wind energy capacity increased 51 GW in 2014. China’s capacity is 114 GW.

  2. Davy on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 6:23 am 

    BP, is a nasty business concern. I have read multiple articles and seen multiple documentaries that clearly show this. Any type of report by BP must be suspect for a profit agenda. BP is using the typical simple goal seek formula’s to fit the exponential increase in population and growth. This is BAUtopia.

    If we are in a bumpy descent with a cycle of supply and demand destruction then these forecasts are rubbish. We here know what diminishing returns and limits are. We report on them daily and there is clear and undeniable evidence we are seeing a bumpy descent. This is a bumpy descent with faux growth. The Marms of the world use their Freddy charts and numbers to goal seek. Marm and BP are from the same mold.

    It is plain that BP’s estimate of 1.6BIL is not possible. They are saying we are going to have another China. Where the hell are we going to put it? Where is all that consumption coming from? The Asians are increasing their population and consumption. So this 1.6BIL is considerably higher impact then the raw numbers indicate. This is rubbish and all their goal seeking is rubbish because it follows a growth in population and wealth which is clearly not possible. BAU cannot degrowth so if this population increase which is necessary for economic growth is not possible then economic growth is not possible. If economic growth is not possible then every one of these BP statistical review points are rubbish.

    We are in the purgatory of the transition of the bumpy plateau and the bumpy descent. This is a time when these financial and political shills can still preach this rubbish. This is because the foundational element of BAU the financial system still has further cannibalization and wealth transfer left in it. A significant portion of the global population still has room to get poorer. This cannot last much longer because food productivity is descending with population rising.

    We have the POD ETP brick wall in 10 years or less and we have a financial system which is the foundational element of the global system, destabilizing. If this financial system blinks it will stop all growth and plunge the global system into a dangerous period of crisis. Let us hope it is a long emergency where we can humanly reduce our population to 1BIL over a generation.

    This population descent is shown mathematically possible with 200MIL deaths over a generation. This will obviously fall proportionally on Asia and Africa. It may or may not be a smooth attrition. BP is a criminal organization. BP’s “Statistical Review of World Energy” is a criminal document to promote a criminal BAU. That may be a bold statement but when 200MIL excess deaths begin then I am sure you will agree with the boldness of my statement.

  3. penury on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 11:03 am 

    Anyone check files to see how BPs estimate for 2015compares to reality? An energy outlook for 2035? How about an economic outlook for 2016? What are the chances for world famine in 2022? My prediction is the world will be using 10 per cent of the energy in 2035 as they used in 1910. Let me know how close I come compared to BP.

  4. Kenz300 on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 11:54 am 

    Seems like BP is missing the obvious……

    Wind and solar grows in use around the world as the price continues to fall making them the safest, cleanest and cheapest forms of energy generation.
    The fossil fuel industry will do all they can to try to hold on to their PROFITS…… even if it means destroying the planet thru Climate Change.

    Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches | World news | The Guardian


    Utility-scale Solar Has Another Record Year in 2014

    Solar and Wind Provide 70 Percent of New US Generating Capacity in November 2014

  5. Davy on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 12:10 pm 

    Pen, there is likely to still be a big population so a forecast for 10% of 1910 energy is drastic but certainly not out of the question. I feel 1900 is a good comparison with what I see is a hybrid of old and new energy use. That is if we don’t comit species suicide by then.

  6. Bob Owens on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 12:18 pm 

    If one starts from the fact that Peak Oil occurred in 2005 for crude from standard wells (no bio or fracking or tar) and one then factors in a decline of 4% a year for this production, it is impossible for oil to retain any sort of dominant position in the energy markets for much more than the next decade, to 2025. Indeed, the social chaos the is evolving and spreading now due to fighting over oil scraps will leave us in a totally different society by 2025. All improvements at the margin will not change these facts. Prepare accordingly. A rotating stockpile of 6 months of food would be a great place to start.

  7. shortonoil on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 6:11 pm 

    Our model projects that by 2035 that the average US citizen will be using the same amount of energy that they used in 1915. Standards of living will be commensurable.

  8. Davy on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 6:27 pm 

    Short except for the difference in population which is going to make those facts bleaker. Energy consumption at 1915 standards but with let’s say 5BIL people. I personally believe we have a brief window before the excess deaths greatly increasing. I have the feeling 10 years is a reasonable time frame for a significant higher death rates. Let’s say we have 200MIL excess deaths yearly for another 10 years that puts us down to the 5BIL range in 2035. That is still well above the 1.8BIL 1915 population levels.

  9. GregT on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 8:29 pm 


    I don’t see it taking 10 years to put a big dent in population numbers, I’m thinking more like 10 months. Remove the JIT delivery systems, and the cities will be decimated rather quickly.

    I relayed a story here awhile back about water turbidity in the Lower mainland of BC. There was a boil water advisory, but the water tested fine to drink, it was just cloudy. People all over were getting into fist fights over bottled water. It was a real shit show. In a really serious scenario, I can easily see the grocery stores cleaned out in a matter of hours. Most people do not have any kind of food reserves at home. IMO there would be roving bands of hungry people within days. Especially people with children.

    Things might be different stateside. You guys have multiple layers of military, and security forces. The roving bands of panicked parents with hungry children could easily be neutralized. Up here in Canada, not so much.

  10. Davy on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 8:50 pm 

    Greg, man, I guess the scenarios could be all over the place. One scenario could be 1BIL die off with BAU failure then a 200MIL year slow die off. Who the frig knows but I know just discussing it is surreal. How awful and unreal but tragically very likely real. Yet, it is not discussed or even thought about except by a very few at least at the intellectual level like we are doing. What is scary is when you put faces to the numbers.

  11. GregT on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 9:42 pm 

    What I find truly scary Davy, and surreal, is that the warning signs are all around us as to the consequences of the continuation of BAU, yet rather than slowing down, BAU is accelerating. At least it is here. There is no indication of a plan B, what-so-ever.

  12. Apneaman on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 11:05 pm 


    I grew up in the Rockies, Elkford/Sparwood Hunting, fishing…the works. I can do my own neutralizing;)

  13. GregT on Mon, 23rd Feb 2015 11:27 pm 


    “I grew up in the Rockies, Elkford/Sparwood”

    You must be immensely enjoying every minute here in the city then.

  14. Apneaman on Tue, 24th Feb 2015 12:01 am 

    Boring as hell actually. I travel, I’m out in the valley right now….past Mission.

  15. Davy on Tue, 24th Feb 2015 5:11 am 

    Here in the Missouri Ozarks a country boy can survived. We always have got by but just barely. The timber barons laid waste to our forests the turn of the last century. The place was gutted but people survived 50 years before any real civilization as we know today moved in. It never moved in with a significance bypassing the Ozarks for the Sunbelt.

    People will survive here. It is great cattle country with decent water. Population densities are low. The hordes will leave the cities but likely to the farm areas around STL and KC. I see only a few venturing into the Ozarks. The life is too tough for most city folks here especially post BAU. There is plenty of large farm acres with good ground around MO’s large urban areas.

    The bandits that come down here will be poached by the locals. People here are well armed and good shots. They do not take kindly to outsiders coming in to steal. That is by no means a guarantee but it is certainly better than what is going to happen in the vicinity to Vegas or NY.

    This is why Davy preaches the first order of business with doom & prep and that is location relocation. Get the frig out of a bad situation before the shit storm arrives. If you know the levee around New Orleans is unfit would you stay there knowing deadly hurricanes will come eventually…I hope you are smarter.

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