Norwegian oil major Statoil is expecting substantial changes to the global energy mix as the world moves towards a low-carbon energy system, with oil demand potentially peaking in 2030.
The firm is working towards a goal of allocating 15 to 20 per cent of its annual investments towards new energy solutions by 2030 in order to stay competitive in the market.
In its annual Energy Perspectives report, Statoil found renewables could increase from just over one per cent of total primary energy demand in 2014 to almost 20 per cent in 2050.
Meanwhile, oil demand is set to increase into the 2020s, but after that things could change. By 2050, oil demand could be as low as 65m barrels per day (bpd) compared with around 97m bpd today.
However, the oil and gas industry will still need large investments.
“Electric cars and plug-in-hybrids could account for around 90 per cent of private cars in 2050, and efficiency will be much higher than today. Still, with heavy duty and maritime transport, aviation and petrochemical industry growth, oil demand will be above 60m barrels per day,” said Eirik Waerness, chief economist at Statoil.
Waerness said is possible to reduce emissions in line with the two degree target of the Paris agreement, but "it will require immediate and coordinated global action".
"We should not underestimate the needed transformation, both in terms of energy efficiency improvements, fuel mix changes and modified consumer behaviour," he said.
Yesterday afternoon, the UK hit a record: the country's solar panels, wind farms and other renewables produced more energy than gas and coal together.
Statoil said continuing global greenhouse gas emissions at today's levels is not sustainable, so it will actively shape its business to deliver high value with a low carbon footprint.
"We believe that being able to produce oil and gas with lower emissions, while also growing in profitable renewables, will give competitive advantages and provide attractive business opportunities in the transition to a low carbon economy," said chief executive Eldar Saetre.