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Renewable energy to out-grow oil, says BP analysis

20th Jan 2012

Emerging economies and improvements in efficiency will help renewable energy become the fastest growing source of power within the next two decades, a new study has found.

According to the latest report from global oil company BP, renewable energy generation is set to increase internationally by eight per cent each year until 2030.

Released yesterday (January 19), the Energy Outlook 2030 report outlines the company's projections of future energy trends based on the world economy, current policies and technology.

The research found that population increases in the populations of non-OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) countries will account for 93 per cent of the growth in energy consumption in the next 18 years.

While energy demand around the world is likely to exceed 39 per cent within the next 18 years, the contribution to energy growth of renewables including solar power is expected to rise to 18 per cent - up from 5 per cent in 2010.

BP group chief executive Bob Dudley believes that it was the company's responsibility to share the important information in order to encourage debate and action.

"What producers, governments and consumers all want is secure, affordable and sustainable energy. But on a global scale, this remains an aspiration," he said yesterday (January 19).

"And to meet that aspiration over the next two decades, we need smart, market-oriented policies to deliver the energy we need in a manageable way - without inhibiting economic development or jeopardising the improvements in living standards now being experienced by billions of people worldwide."

Based on BP's projections, the significant increase in the use of renewable energies as a replacement for coal and oil could see the Western Hemisphere become almost entirely energy self-sufficient by 2030.

BP expects that the European Union will lead renewables growth for the next decade, but will be overtaken by the US and China as largest sources of development from 2020.

Following on from this, over the 2020-30 period non-OECD countries will add more renewable power than their counterparts who have joined the organisation, with the non-OECD increasing its share of renewable power from the current level of 22 per cent to 43 per cent by 2030.

The latest report is only the second time the company has made its view available to the public.

Posted by Mike Peacock - Solar correspondent

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