Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP

Rapid uptake of renewable and other low-carbon sources is insufficient to cover rising energy demand

BP’s latest annual “Energy Outlook” sets out a range of scenarios for the future development of the energy industry.

The annual report expects that renewable energy sources to become the world’s main source of power within two decades.

The oil company said wind, solar and other renewables could account for about 30 percent of the world’s electricity supplies by 2040, up from 25 percent in BP’s 2040 estimates last year, and about 10 percent today.

However, demand for oil would prove resilient over the next two decades, even if the targets set in the Paris Agreement are met.

This year’s report suggests China’s energy growth will decelerate sharply as its economic expansion slows.

China would likely remain the largest energy consumer into 2040, although India should overtake it in terms of demand growth beginning in the next decade.

“The outlook again brings into sharp focus just how fast the world’s energy systems are changing, and how the dual challenge of more energy with fewer emissions is framing the future,” said BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

“Meeting this challenge will undoubtedly require many forms of energy to play a role,” he said.

Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said that buying the company’s shares should be considered an “ethical investment”, since its continued investment in oil and gas was in line with meeting the Paris climate targets and would help to meet growing energy demand that would lift billions of people out of poverty.

The outlook also notes that single-use plastics could cut demand for oil faster than previously expected over the next two decades.

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