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BP Predicts World Will Be Powered Entirely by Renewables in 20 Years

15 Feb 08:00 by Steve Walia

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BP has said that it believes green energy sources will be the primary source of power across the globe in just twenty years. The company believes that renewable technologies are gaining traction in the world's energy system at a quicker pace than any other fuel source in history.

The company believes that a third of global electricity supplies will be generated by solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2040, up from the estimate of 25% that BP made last year and compared to a current level of around 10pc.

BP's analysts expect that this market penetration rate could be as high as 50% in the next two decades, with a speed of growth that is unprecedented.

Oil took nearly 45 years to grow from 1pc of total world energy production to 10pc. Gas took over half a century. But renewables will only need 25 years according to the latest BP energy outlook, which it publishes once a year.

Furthermore, BP believes that if the switch to a low-carbon economy accelerates, then the adoption period could drop to only 15 years.

However, despite this move to a cleaner future, BP does see oil staying around - with oil demand yet to peak and forecast to do so in 2030. It also sees that hydrocarbon fuels will remain important until 2040 and require heavy investment to meet this demand. 

When it comes to the likelihood of avoiding global warming, the company is muted, saying that it expects to see greenhouse gases grow by a worrying 10pc by 2040, with global energy demand continuing to grow overall and with fossil fuels still being used.

The report will make fascinating reading for businesses, policymakers and investors alike, and it's available from the BP website.