Energy companies underrating impact of EV ‘game-changers’
According to the ‘Expect the Unexpected’ report co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, the big energy companies are seriously underestimating low-carbon advances by backing fossil fuel expansion.
The report says that falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020 while growth in electric vehicles (EVs) alone could lead to 2 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) being displaced by 2025 – the same volume that caused the oil price collapse in 2014-15. Under this scenario, 16mbd of oil demand would be displaced by 2040 and 25mbd by 2050, in stark contrast to the continuous growth in oil demand expected by industry.
“Electric vehicles and solar power are game-changers that the fossil fuel industry consistently underestimates. Further innovation could make our scenarios look conservative in five years’ time, in which case the demand misread by companies will have been amplified even more,” said Luke Sussams, senior researcher at Carbon Tracker.