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Graphic shows changes in primary energy usage between 2018 and 2019.


Energy demand growth slows

By Duncan Mil

September 14, 2020 - World primary energy consumption rose by 1.3% last year, much weaker than the 2.8% growth seen in 2018. Growth was driven by renewables, while demand for coal declined for the first time since 2015, according to the 2020 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

BP has warned of a peak in global oil demand within the next few years. The new review marks a dramatic change from last year when BP expected consumption to grow over the decade before reaching a peak in the 2030s.

The British energy major models three scenarios for the world’s transition to cleaner fuels, all of which involve oil demand falling over the next 30 years.

“Even as the pandemic has dramatically reduced global carbon emissions, the world remains on an unsustainable path,” said Bernard Looney, BP chief executive.

In the “business as usual” case, oil demand rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic then plateaus in the early 2020s, with carbon emissions from energy use in 2050 less than 10 per cent below 2018 levels of 34 billion tonnes.

Two other scenarios model more aggressive policies to tackle climate change. Oil demand never fully recovers, implying 2019 levels of 100 million barrels a day will be the peak for consumption.

Renewable energy, which grew by 12.2 per cent between 2018 and 2019, is the fastest-growing source of power in all the scenarios.

PUBLISHED: 14/09/2020; STORY: Graphic News