Dave Elliott: As ever, BP’s annual Energy Outlook has renewable energy making only a small primary energy contribution – around 4 billion tonnes of oil equivalent by 2040, i.e. 15% or, including hydro, 22% combined. Non-hydro new renewables do grow rapidly in its scenario, faster than anything else, and coal and oil take a big dive, but gas remains king. Nuclear stays low. But even in BP’s rapid transitions scenario, by 2040 renewables still only hit 29% of global energy (38% with hydro). To put all this in perspective, IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, looks to renewables supplying around 60% of total primary global energy by 2050. BP’s projections look a bit better in power terms — nearly 30% excluding hydro by 2040 (maybe 46% with hydro), but they’re still well behind the electricity projections from IRENA (85%) and even the IEA (around 70%), especially since electricity demand fell in 18 out of 30 IEA member countries over the period 2010-2017. Obviously, as the IEA keeps saying, we will also need heat and power, as well as a lot of energy saving, but IRENA says renewables, along with efficiency, can help us make 90% of the emission cuts needed to keep below 2 °C by 2050.
Physics World 29th May 2019 read more »