The 2020 edition of the BP Energy Outlook explores possible paths for the global energy transition, how global energy markets may evolve over the next 30 years and the key uncertainties that may shape them.
- Rapid assumes the introduction of policy measures, led by a significant increase in carbon prices, that result in carbon emissions from energy use falling by around 70% by 2050 from 2018 levels. Rapid is broadly in line with scenarios that are consistent with limiting the rise in global temperatures by 2100 to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
- Net Zero assumes the policy measures of Rapid are reinforced by significant shifts in societal and consumer behaviour and preferences – such as greater adoption of circular and sharing economies and switching to low carbon energy sources. This increases the reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 to over 95%. Net Zero is broadly in line with a range of scenarios consistent with limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C.
- Business-as-usual (BAU) assumes that government policies, technologies and societal preferences continue to evolve in a manner and speed seen in the recent past. In BAU, carbon emissions from energy use peak in the mid-2020s but do not decline significantly, with emissions in 2050 less than 10% below 2018 levels.
Aviation and marine transport accounted for around 7 Mb/d and 5 Mb/d of oil consumption in 2018 respectively.
According to the report, demand for these services increases over the Outlook in both Rapid and BAU: growth in shipping is driven by increased levels of trade; whilst expansion in air-travel is underpinned by growing prosperity, especially in emerging economies.
In Net Zero, increasing preference for the consumption of locally-produced goods and reduction in oil trade contributes to reduced shipping demand by around a third by 2050 relative to BAU.
In Rapid, liquids demand from aviation remains relatively stable at around 7 Mb/d over the course of the Outlook, as efficiency improves by around 35%, largely offsetting additional demand for air travel. In Net Zero, these efficiency savings plus reduced appetite for flying in some markets means liquids demand from aviation peaks in the early 2030s and declines to a little below 2018 levels by 2050. In contrast, liquids demand continues to grow throughout the Outlook in BAU, reaching 10 Mb/d by 2050.
Although biofuels play a critical role in decarbonizing the aviation sector, the fuel mix in the shipping sector is able to diversify into hydrogen (either as ammonia or in liquid form) and LNG, as well as biofuels.
In Rapid and Net Zero, non-fossil fuels account for 40% and 85% of marine transport fuel by 2050 respectively, with more than half of that coming from hydrogen.
Conversely, under BAU, marine demand for oil increases slightly by 2050, with natural gas increasing its share of the sector fuel mix to just under 15% and non-fossil fuels accounting for just 1%.