How technology could change the way energy is produced and consumed
The BP Technology Outlook examines the potential of technology to change the way we produce and use energy to 2050.
It draws on a series of studies carried out over three years by BP and eight partners in universities and research institutes, using a combination of fundamental analysis and energy system modelling to produce insights into long-term trends.
It examines three regions, China, Europe and North America, which together account for more than 50% of the world’s primary energy consumption but have very different energy systems.
It is designed to inform thinking in business, governments, academia and beyond.
To make best use of this Outlook, it is important to understand what it seeks to do – and what it does not do – and how it differs from other views on future trends.
The Outlook uses ‘techno-economic’ analysis to show how the costs and deployment of a range of energy-related
technologies could develop out to 2050. This approach takes account of factors such as investment, operating and fuel costs, capacity factors, and advances in technology including ‘learning rates’, whereby costs
fall as experience is accumulated.
The core analysis therefore does not factor in the impact of policies, such as those aimed at reducing greenhouse gas
emissions or improving air quality. However, in the studies on power, transport and heat, a carbon price has been overlaid on the core calculations to see what difference it could make.