This is the second year in which BP has made the outlook for global energy available to the public. I am glad to see this decision was endorsed by the response we received to last year’s edition, which was downloaded over 36,000 times from BP’s website. I was particularly pleased at this response because I strongly believe that sharing the data and analysis of the Energy Outlook – and of our annual Statistical Review of World Energy– is part of our responsibility to inform the discussions on energy that are occurring in companies, governments, and over dinner tables worldwide.This Energy Outlook contains our projections of future energy trends and key uncertainties, based on our views of the evolution of the world economy, of policy, and technology.
This is our view of the most likely outcome for world energy supply and demand to 2030; it is not necessarily the energy world we at BP wish to see. This year we examine in more detail several important facets of the global energy story: the pathways for economic development and energy demand in China and India; the factors affecting the energy export prospects of the Middle East; and the “drivers” of energy consumption in road transportation.As always, the numbers that make up this outlook point to long term trends and highlight potential decision points or “fault lines” in the system; in short, their job is to convey the underlying challenges and opportunities we all face in producing and consuming energy.
Our job is to unlock this story from the numbers. For example, this outlook highlights the
critical role that fossil fuels will continue to play in the world’s energy mix, even as
renewable energy sources continue their rapid growth. While this has inescapable
implications for the likely path of carbon emissions, the outlook also highlights the
opportunities for improving energy efficiency and “lightening the carbon load” by
switching to less carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas.
The outlook also challenges some long-held beliefs. Significant changes in US supply and
demand prospects, for example, highlight the likelihood that import dependence (in what
is today’s largest energy importer) will decline substantially.
Perhaps most important to me is how the outlook reminds us that we are all connected.
Global energy trade continues to grow rapidly, linking the world’s economies and driving
a remarkable convergence of the relationship between energy use and economic activity
in countries around the world.
These are changes for the better. They are market driven, and while they need the support of well-designed policies, they represent a key reason why I feel optimistic about the world’s ability to meet the challenge of providing energy that is affordable, secure,
sustainable and of course safe.
We hope you find the 2012 edition of the BP Energy Outlook 2030 a useful addition to the
global energy discussion.
Group Chief Executive