Norwegian energy major Statoil is calling for an immediate and coordinated strategy to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets. Writing in Statoil’s seventh edition of Energy Perspectives, the company’s senior vice president and chief economist Eirik Wærness said it is possible to realise energy emission reductions consistent with the 2ºC target, but it will require a coordinated global effort.
He warned that the required transformation in terms of energy efficiency improvements, fuel mix changes and modified consumer behaviour, would be hard to achieve given a number of geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges.
Statoil’s report describes three different scenarios for global macroeconomic development, energy demand, energy mix and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, through until 2050. A constant across all scenarios is that the global population is growing, as is the global middle class, and economic growth is increasing – all of which will spur greater demand for products, services and activities that require energy.
In a scenario that is consistent with meeting the target of keeping the global temperature increase below 2ºC, oil reduces its share from 31 to 23 percent of the energy mix, while gas remains at around 20 percent. In order to meet the 2ºC target, the report states that average annual improvements in energy efficiency must be three times higher than what has been achieved over the last 25 years.
Regardless of scenario, and in addition to large-scale investments in renewable energy, the world will continue to need large investments in oil and gas due to the natural decline in supply from existing fields, said Wærness. Oil demand is expected to increase into the 2020s. Dependent on scenario, oil demand in 2050 ranges from below 65 mn to above 120 mn barrels per day (bpd), compared to approximately 97 mn bpd today.
“Electric cars and plug-in-hybrids could account for around 90 percent of private cars in 2050, and efficiency will be much higher than today. Still, with heavy-duty and maritime transport, aviation and petrochemical industry growth, oil demand will be above 60 mn bpd,” says Wærness.