The future is not looking bright for oil, according to a new report that claims the commodity would have to be priced at $10-$20 a barrel to remain competitive as a transport fuel.
The new research, from BNP Paribas, says that the economics of renewable energy make it impossible for oil to compete at current prices. The author of the report, global head of sustainability Mark Lewis, says that “renewable electricity has a short-run marginal cost of zero, is cleaner environmentally, much easier to transport and could readily replace up to 40% of global oil demand”.
The oil industry faces a disruption on the same scale as that which has hit the European utilities sector over the last decade, he adds.
The report, Wells, Wires, And Wheels… Eroci And The Tough Road Ahead For Oil, introduces the concept of the Energy Return on Capital Invested (EROCI), focusing on the energy return on a $100bn outlay on oil and renewables where the energy is being used to power cars and other light-duty vehicles (LDVs).
“For a given capital outlay on oil and renewables, how much useful energy at the wheel do we get? Our analysis indicates that for the same capital outlay today, new wind and solar-energy projects in tandem with battery electric vehicles will produce six to seven times more useful energy at the wheels than will oil at $60 per barrel for gasoline powered light-duty vehicles, and three to four times more than will oil at $60 per barrel for light-duty vehicles running on diesel,” says Lewis.
Read more: Forbes