BP Admits That Global Oil Demand Will Never Return To Pre-Pandemic Levels
Global oil demand probably peaked in 2019 and will never return to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to a new forecast for global energy development to 2050 prepared by BP.
The company considers three scenarios for the development of global energy: the scenario of a rapid energy transition to low-carbon energy (Rapid), the scenario of carbon-free energy (Net Zero), and the scenario of the industry development according to the traditional model (Business-as-usual).
"Demand for liquid hydrocarbons in the fast energy transition scenario and the carbon-free energy scenario will never fully recover from the fall due to COVID-19, which means that oil demand in both scenarios peaked in 2019… At the same time, demand will fall by about 50% by 2050 in the first scenario and by almost 80% in the second. The prospects for oil in the traditional scenario are more optimistic: demand by 2050 will only slightly decrease compared to the current level," the article says.
Overall, energy demand will grow by 10% in the first and second scenarios, and by about 25% in the third.
Among hydrocarbons, gas has the best prospects: demand for it in the scenario of the rapid energy transition by 2050 will not change much compared to current levels and will grow by about 35% in the scenario of development according to the traditional model. In a carbon-free scenario, it will fall by about 40%. Coal consumption will decrease significantly in all three cases, especially in the fast energy transition and carbon-free energy scenarios, which suggest a drop of more than 80% in 2050.
Demand for renewable energy sources (including wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy, but excluding hydropower) will increase more than 10-fold in both the rapid energy transition and carbon-free scenarios, with their share in the energy mix rising from 5% in 2018 to more than 40% by 2050 in the former case and almost 60% in the latter. In a conservative scenario, the growth in demand for renewable energy is less pronounced. But it will still account for about 90% of the increase in energy demand over the next 30 years, BP notes.
The composition of energy in Net Zero in 2050 may provide some insight: total final energy consumption (excluding non-combusted energy) is close to 10% lower than in Rapid; electricity, hydrogen and bioenergy together account for around 85% of end energy use; and CCUS plays a significant role.