By Paul Homewood
The latest BP energy review is now out. As usual, there is talk of record increases in renewable energy, which are powering the increase in demand.
And as also is usual, they are trying to turn molehills into mountains!
Before we look at what the data actually says, a quick note that they have changed measurements from Mtoe to Exajoules – something to do with “input-equivalent” (beyond my pay grade!)
First, emissions continue to slowly increase, up 1.4% year on year, and in line with a 1.3% increase in primary energy consumption.
It is also consistent with decadal trends, with emissions rising by 10.3% since 2010:
Whilst European and US emissions have dropped by 3%, this has been dwarfed by the rest of the world.
China is up 3.3%. Africa, the Middle East and the rest of Asia also show similar increases.
Breakdown of year on year changes in the primary energy mix shows that fossil fuels consumption has risen by 3.5 EJ, which is more than the 2.6EJ that wind and solar have added.
With such a tiny increase in renewable energy, wind/solar remain insignificant at 3.3% of total energy, up from 2.9% last year.
Contrary to the myths peddled by XR, the UK is leading the world in deployment of wind/solar, in percentage terms. Even then, it remains pitifully low at less than 9%. In China, it is under 4%.
Finally a look at cobalt and lithium prices, which have fallen back the steep rise in the last couple of years:
What is significant is that production has also declined. Cobalt, for instance, is down by 21%. Normally you would expect a production cut to have pushed prices up. However it appears that this time production cuts have followed the price fall. BP explain:
After steep rises in prices for cobalt and lithium in 2017 and 2018, prices fell back sharply last year. Cobalt prices declined by over 50% while lithium carbonate prices slipped 31%. Production responded quickly to the drop-in prices, with cobalt production down 21.2%, largely due to a decline in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lithium production fell 19.2%, driven mainly by lower Australian output.
BP have, by the way, cocked up by labelling all of their graphs as “US $ / Tonne”, instead of “US$1000/Tonne”!
Reading between the lines, the price rises in the last two years have been driven by speculation, on the back of a projected rapid rise in demand. What is evident is that demand has actually remained flat, suggesting that a battery revolution is not just around the corner.
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June 24, 2020 at 08:36AM