According to a new report “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040” put out by ExxonMobil, the need for energy in order to make electricity will remain the single biggest driver of demand on the planet for the next 3 decades. Non OECD energy demand will grow by close to 60%.
Oil, gas and coal continue to be the most widely used fuels, and have the scale needed to meet global demand, making up about 80 percent of total energy consumption in 2040, however Natural gas will grow fast enough to overtake coal for the number 2 position behind oil. Demand for natural gas will rise by more than 60 percent through 2040. Both oil and natural gas will have an increasing share of global supply coming from unconventional sources such as those produced from shale formations. In the United States and Europe, a shift from coal to less carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas already is under way. Natural Gas is the fastest growing major fuel source over this period, growing at 1.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2040.
The world’s population will rise by more than 25% by 2040, bringing us to 9 billion people on Earth, with the majority of that growth occurring by 2025! India and Africa are the largest population growth drivers, which will produce the largest GDP growth through 2040. Population and economic growth will drive demand higher, but the world will use energy more efficiently and shift toward lower-carbon fuels.
Residential energy demand increases as Africa and China lead a 50-percent rise in the number of households worldwide. By 2040, there will be 2.8 billion households in the world, an increase of nearly 50% from 2010. These households will need energy for lighting, heating, cooking, hot water and refrigeration, as well as electricity to run everything from computers to air conditioners.
One of the most profound shifts in energy usage through 2040 will come from the transportation sector. The proliferation of hybrid and other advanced vehicles –as the number of personal vehicles in the world doubles! In addition, demand for fuel for commercial transportation – trucks, airplanes, trains and ships – will continue to rise sharply. However, the cars of the world’s roads will be very different mix than what we have today, to a large extent, these changes will be driven by government policies that will mandate the fuel economy of personal vehicles.
As the Chairman & CEO of ExxonMobil rightly states:
“In the decades ahead, the world will need to expand energy supplies in a way that is safe, secure, affordable and environmentally responsible. The scale of the challenge is enormous and requires an integrated set of solutions and the pursuit of all economic options.” Rex W. Tillerson