BP forecasts nuclear growth to 3400 TWh by 2040

15 February 2019

BP's 2019 Energy Outlook forecasts an overall rise in nuclear to 2040, to around 3400 TWh. The document is produced to aid the company's analysis and decision-making and is published as a contribution to the wider debate.

(Image: BP)

The Energy Outlook considers a number of different scenarios, which "explore the possible implications of different judgements and assumptions by considering a series of 'what if' experiments." The scenarios consider only a tiny sub-set of the uncertainty surrounding energy markets out to 2040; they do not provide a comprehensive description of all possible future outcomes. In its 'rapid transition' case, nuclear increases to around 4300 TWh.

Much of the Outlook is described with reference to the 'evolving transition' (ET) scenario, though the "multitude of uncertainties" means the probability of any one of the scenarios materialising exactly as described is negligible, BP says in the report.

Nuclear and hydro power generation continue to grow over the Outlook, although less rapidly than overall power generation, such that their shares within overall power generation decline.

Nuclear power in the ET scenario grows at an average rate of 1.1% p.a., broadly in line with the growth seen over the past 20 years or so.

"The continuing growth in nuclear power disguises two contrasting patterns. Nuclear energy within  the OECD declines materially over the Outlook, as aging nuclear plants are decommissioned and there is limited investment in new capacity. In contrast, nuclear generation in China increases strongly, rising by 1000 TWh over the Outlook, with the level of nuclear generation in China by 2040 similar to that in the entire OECD," the report says.

The Energy Outlook explores the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition, BP says. It shows how rising prosperity drives an increase in global energy demand and how that demand will be met over the coming decades through a diverse range of supplies including oil, gas, coal and renewables.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News