Energy consumption to peak by mid-century

Chief Europe Correspondent
Source: BP Energy Outlook 2023 • Scenarios are based on 2050. "New Momentum" is the baseline scenario. Energy consumption is measured at the final point of use, also known as total fuel consumption. "Other" includes biomass, biofuels and biomethane.

Global energy demand is set to peak by mid-century as energy efficiency improves and energy use is increasingly decarbonized, according to the annual energy outlook from multinational oil and gas company BP released last week.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will likely accelerate the pace of the energy transition, BP said, cutting its projections for long-term oil and gas use by 6% and 5% respectively compared to last year’s analysis.

Nonetheless, “greater support is required globally” to speed up the scale of decarbonization, the company’s report also found.

The outlook, one of the most detailed and highly anticipated analyses of the global energy system, is based on three scenarios.

The baseline scenario, New Momentum, looks at the current trajectory of the energy system. The more optimistic scenarios, Accelerated and Net Zero, assess what’s needed to keep global temperature rise below 2 and 1.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Electricity consumption is set to increase by around 75% by 2050 in all three scenarios as more renewables come online and the world relies more on electrified systems to power daily life.

Overall energy consumption peaks in the mid-to-late 2020s in BP’s two more ambitious scenarios but continues to increase in the baseline scenario until around 2040 before plateauing around 2050.

The difference stems from faster energy efficiency gains in the more ambitious scenarios. Energy efficiency is a “central element in facilitating a rapid reduction in carbon emissions,” the report states.