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BP Sees Renewables Outpacing Fossil Fuels, Eclipsing Nuclear

BP Sees Renewables Outpacing Fossil Fuels, Eclipsing Nuclear
Wind turbine blades, manufactured by Vestas Wind Systems A/S, at the harbor at the company's pre-assembly facility in Esbjerg, Denmark, on Sept. 25, 2013. Photographer: Freya Ingrid Morales/Bloomberg

Renewables will continue to be the fastest-growing energy source, supplying a bigger share of the world’s needs than nuclear by 2025, according to BP Plc.

Sources such as wind and solar will increase at an average of 6.4 percent a year to 2035, compared with natural gas, the fastest-growing fossil fuel, at 1.9 percent, BP said today in its Energy Outlook 2035. Renewables will produce 14 percent of the world’s power by that year from 5 percent in 2012, bolstered by growth from the poorer nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“While the OECD economies have led in renewables growth, renewables in the non-OECD are catching up,” BP said in the report. “Including biofuels, renewables are expected to have a higher share of primary energy than nuclear by 2025.”

Governments from the U.S. to China are promoting clean energy to tackle climate change and meet demand. Europe’s second-biggest oil company has committed to invest $8 billion in alternative energy by 2015, focusing on biofuels and wind farms after winding down its solar operations amid a glut.

The use of renewables in power generation will rise 768 percent in China by 2035, 539 percent in India and 227 percent in Brazil as demand for energy rises, BP said. Consumption will expand 277 percent in the U.S. where it helps offset declines in oil, coal and nuclear demand, according to BP, which in July canceled a plan to sell its stakes in 16 U.S. wind-farms.

Use of renewables for electricity in the European Union will expand 177 percent, surpassing nuclear as the dominant domestic energy source in 2023, and accounting for 37 percent of the EU’s energy production in 2035, BP said.

The 28-nation bloc, with legally binding clean-energy targets, will see the biggest regional increase in the share of renewables in its power mix, rising from 6 percent now to 17 percent in 2035.

Fossil fuels remain dominant in the energy mix in 2035, with oil, gas and coal each with 26 percent to 27 percent of market share, while nuclear, hydro and renewables each have about 5 percent to 7 percent, according to BP.

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