Six Energy facts as highlighted by BP…. Last week I looked at some of the facts BP seemed less keen to draw attention to.
1) Thanks to shale oil USA becomes largest oil producer questioning peak oil theory. What I say in response is… Hubbert to the best of my knowledge never considered shale oil and even the IEA suggest that conventional oil has peaked in 2006. In addition the IEA suggest US shale oil (not so far replicated elsewhere) will peak in about 2018.
2) Second of the energy facts from BP is that oil production in non-OPEC countries soars undoing a long decline. What I say in response is… As BP point out a lot of this is due to US shale oil not making this such a different point to 1).
3) Energy demand grew by only 0.9% whilst the global economy grew by 3.3% last year. The long term average is about 2%. This is due to weather related issues in the US and Europe and a slowing economy in China. What I say in response is… Maybe this is part of a trend. With more efficient appliances and LED’s it could be that energy demand will fall. A lot depends on what happens in China and India.
4) 4th of the energy facts. Coal use declines in China. What I say in response is… According to BP’s data this is looking like a trend. Pollution in China is a huge problem with protests taking place which in itself will worry the Chinese government. This could be very significant but depends on what happens to the Chinese economy.
5) Carbon emissions from energy use rose at only 0.5%, the slowest since the 1990’s. BP say this is due to the slowdown in China. What I say in response is… Remember this is due to energy use and ignores emissions due to agriculture and forestry for example. The overall situation is actually more encouraging with an overall fall in emissions last year.
6) Last of the energy facts is that renewables had a mixed year. The growth in output was below its longterm average of about 15% but was still a robust 12%. Only 3% of global energy comes from renewables. What I say in response is… Everyone underestimates the growth of renewables.
Image from BP.