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BP’s annual energy review shows big jump for renewables

Oil giant BP has published its annual Statistical World Energy Review for this year, and revealed that 17% of global energy growth came from renewable sources.

This year’s increase is the largest ever for renewables. Equivalent to about 69 million tonnes of oil, it would be enough to meet the energy demands of both Denmark and Sweden combined.

While wind power has been growing rapidly in the UK—driven by better economies of

scale and advanced lubricants, such as those from Mobil UK stockists—BP’s review also points to a “stunning” growth in solar power. This year’s growth would have been inconceivable 10 or more years ago, when renewable projects were economically unfeasible without hefty subsidies.

Despite the strong growth in renewable energy, though, BP’s review also gives some negative news. Global carbon emissions increased by 1.6% over 2017, despite staying roughly steady for the past three years.

The recent jump is largely attributed to stronger economic growth leader to higher energy demand, combined with a renewed use of coal in China. The chief economist at BP, Spencer Dale, pointed out that an increase in carbon emissions was perhaps inevitable after the rapid move to renewables between 2014 and 2016. He also expressed his view that the power sector could do more to reduce carbon emissions by saying:

“I am more worried by the lack of progress in the power sector over the past 20 years, than by the pickup in carbon emissions last year.”

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