Bright days ahead for nuclear and renewables while coal and oil are likely to slip, says BP

Over the next twenty years non-fossil fuels, such as nuclear, hydro and renewables, will be the fastest growing parts of the energy sector, according to BP Energy Outlook, a report that was released on Thursday.

Looking at renewables alone, BP expects an increase from five percent to 18%.

However, coal and oil will stop growing and are expected to slide.

"Fossil fuels’ contribution to primary energy growth is projected to fall from 83% to 64%. OECD oil demand peaked in 2005 and in 2030 is projected to be roughly back at its level in 1990," writes the reports authors.

Primary energy growth is expected to be 40% over the next twenty years, with 93% of the growth coming from countries like China, Russia, Brazil and India.

"Non-OECD countries are seen to rapidly increase their share of overall energy demand from just over half currently to two-thirds," writes the studies authors.

While population growth is slowing, incomes are rising in emerging economies which will drive energy consumption.

"Since 1900 world population has more than quadrupled, real income has grown by a factor of 25, and primary energy consumption by a factor of 22.5," writes the study authors.

"At the global level, the most fundamental relationship in energy economics remains robust – more people with more income means that the production and consumption of energy will rise."


Chart from BP Energy Outlook. Click to enlarge.