Action Needed for Emissions Reductions

Published on Thursday, 20 February 2014

Any study on the evolution of the global energy system predicts profound changes in both markets and technology, as well as challenges in the safeguarding of social and environmental sustainable.

Energy Outlook 2035, a study recently published by BP, is no different, stating that by 2035 global energy demand will grow by41 percent, of which 95 percent will come from emerging countries. Meanwhile OECD countries will see only a slight increase in consumption or even a drop at the end of this period.

Fossil fuels will remain predominant: covering about 80 percent of the primary energy mix in 2035, compared with the current 82 percent. The role of gas will grow, and it will eventually surpass oil, thanks to the contribution of non-traditional resources like shale gas, which by the end of the period will account for about 50 percent of the world's gas. Coal use will also increase in this period, and will only start to decline starting from 2030.

Nevertheless, the highest growth will be withinrenewable energy, with an average 6.4 percent per year. However, in terms of quantity, their contribution to the total energy demand will remain limited, rising from the current two percent to seven percent, the same percentage as hydropower and only slightly higher than nuclear power.

Based on these estimates it will be difficult to limit emissions within the threshold recommended by the scientific community to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change. In order to achieve this target, the framework should change, by emphasising efforts in efficiency and innovation made by several electricity companies such as the Enel Group. It already produces more than 42 percent zero emissions electricity and it is committed to becoming by 2050, a '100 percent carbon free' business.