BP foretells that renewable growth will surpass that of fossil fuels

According to BP PLC (BP/) wind power, solar electricity and biofuels consumption will experience a much faster growth during the next 20 years than the demand for fossil fuels; the driving force behind this is that nations are seeking to meet rising energy needs without adding to their carbon emissions.

During BP’s annual outlook the company said that global renewables consumption will increase by 8.2 per cent a year through to 2030, outperforming the annual increase of 2.1 per cent gain for natural gas, which is said to be the fastest-growing fossil fuel, as the total energy demand for power, transport and heating is predicted to expand by 1.6 per cent every year.

BP explained, “The growth of global energy consumption is increasingly being met by non-fossil fuels,” “Renewables, nuclear and hydro together account for 34 per cent of the growth; this aggregate non-fossil contribution is, for the first time, larger than the contribution of any single fossil fuel.”

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new investment in renewable energy has increased to a record $260 billion in 2011 compared to the $243 billion in 2010, which was the first year that new money rolled into wind and solar generation and beat funds for new oil-, coal- and gas-fired output. Governments all around the globe have subsidized the extension of cleaner power production in order to satisfy energy demand while curtailing polluting emissions.

“It is in the power sector where the greatest changes in the fuel mix are expected, renewables, nuclear and hydroelectric should account for more than half the growth in power generation.” BP also said.

BP, whom is Europe’s largest oil producer after Royal Dutch Shell Plc, told their staff during 2011 that it is extiting from the solar power industry after 40 years, reason being that it’s no longer profitable. The company’s solar division will be wound down over several months, BP Solar Chief Executive Officer Mike Petrucci said in an internal letter in December 2011.

According to the company, this exit will have no influence on BP’s other renewable-energy units.  BP has been expanding its biofuels business, and in September 2011 it said it spent $96 million on two Brazilian sugar-cane processors.

They furthermore stated that biofuels will account for about 7 per cent of energy use for transport by 2030. Biofuels and other renewables combined will make up about 6.3 per cent of total energy consumption in 2030, up from 1.8 per cent in 2010.

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