ExxonMobil forecasts 25 per cent growth in energy demand by 2040

ExxonMobil outlook for energy energy demandOil will remain the leading source of fuel in 2040. (Image source: Ben Grasser/Shutterstock)Global energy demand will increase by 25 per cent between 2014 and 2040, driven by population growth and economic expansion, according to the 2016 edition of ExxonMobil’s The Outlook for Energy, which gives a long-range forecast of energy trends

During this period, the world’s population will increase by around two billion people and emerging economies will continue to expand significantly, says the report. Most growth in energy demand will occur in developing nations that are not part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with India and China together expected to account for almost half of the growth in global energy demand. Strong increases in energy demand are also forecast in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Thailand and Indonesia. Global electricity demand is seen rising by 65 per cent between 2014 and 2040 – 2.5 times faster than overall energy demand, with the Middle East set to pass North America as top electricity user per household.

In 2040 oil and natural gas are expected to make up nearly 60 per cent of global supplies, with NGLs, tight oil, deepwater, unconventional gas and oil sands seeing strong gains. Oil will remain the leading source of fuel; the Middle East and Russia will remain the major oil exporters to 2040 while North America, which for decades has been an oil importer, is on course to become a net exporter around 2020.

Natural gas will move into second place, and is expected to meet around 40 per cent of the growth in global energy needs, with Russia/Caspian expanding its lead as top natural gas exporter. By 2040, unconventional gas will account for about one-third of global gas production, the report predicts.

Nuclear and renewable energy sources – including bio-energy, hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar – are expected to make up nearly 25 per cent of supplies by 2040, of which nuclear alone represents around one third. They are likely to account for a further 40 per cent of the growth in global energy demand by this time.

“ExxonMobil’s analysis and those of independent agencies confirms our long-standing view that all viable energy sources will be needed to meet increasing demand,” said Rex W. Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation.

At the same time, energy efficiency gains and increased use of renewable energy sources and lower carbon fuels, such as natural gas, are expected to help reduce by half the carbon intensity of the global economy. The outlook projects that global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will peak around 2030 and then start to decline. Emissions in OECD nations are projected to fall by about 20 percent from 2014 to 2040.

William Colton, vice-president of ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Planning, added, “The climate accord reached at the recent COP21 conference in Paris set many new goals, and while many related policies are still emerging, the outlook continues to anticipate that such policies will increase the cost of carbon dioxide emissions over time.”

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