Energy titan BP has released its Energy Outlook 2023, which explores the uncertainties and trends related to the process of transitioning to a net-zero energy system by 2050.
This year’s report has been updated to account for two massive ongoing developments in the past year, namely the Inflation Reduction Act being passed in the US and the outbreak of war between Ukraine and Russia. Spencer Dale, the chief economist at BP, said about recent events:
“The events of the past year have served as a reminder to us all that the transition also needs to take account of the security and affordability of energy. Any successful and enduring energy transition needs to address all three elements of the so-called energy trilemma: secure, affordable and lower carbon.”
The report outlines three basic scenarios for the energy transition: New Momentum, Accelerated, and Net Zero. New Momentum is intended to model the way in which the global energy system has been developing recently, with governments becoming increasingly ambitious in their decarbonisation targets. In this situation, carbon emissions will peak this decade and be 30% lower by 2050 than they were in 2019.
BP, which also makes the Castrol lubricant and grease products, then assumes a substantial tightening in decarbonisation policies for its Accelerated scenario, resulting in a 75% drop in carbon emissions by the 2050 goal. Finally, the Net Zero scenario goes a step further by assuming behavioural changes in society that will strengthen the adoption of clean energy and energy-efficiency measures, leading to carbon emissions being reduced by 95% by 2050.