ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy Sees Global Increase in Demand

December 11, 2014 By Karen Henry

Exxon elec demand energy manageSignificant growth in the global middle class, expansion of emerging economies and an additional 2 billion people in the world will contribute to a 35 percent increase in energy demand by 2040, according to a new report released by ExxonMobil.

The report, 2015 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, outlines ExxonMobil’s long-term view of global energy demand and supply. The company developed the report by examining energy supply and demand trends in 100 countries, 15 demand sectors covering personal and business needs and 20 different energy types.

The report includes the following findings:

  • Carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three quarters of global energy needs through 2040.
  • Wind, solar and biofuels are expected to be the fastest-growing energy sources, increasing about 6 percent a year on average through 2040, when they will be approaching 4 percent of global energy demand.
  • Renewables in total will account for about 15 percent of energy demand in 2040.
  • Nuclear energy is expected to nearly double from 2010 to 2040, with growth in the Asia Pacific region, led by China, accounting for about 75 percent of the increase, according to ExxonMobil.
  • Natural gas is expected to be the fastest-growing major fuel source during the outlook period as demand increases by about 65 percent. Half of that increase will come from the Asia Pacific region, led by China. Utilities and industrial operations are expected to account for about 80 percent of the demand increase worldwide. By 2040, natural gas is expected to account for more than a quarter of global energy use, surpassing coal in the overall mix.
  • Demand for coal is expected to rise through 2025 and then decline as China’s economic growth gradually slows. Over time, global coal demand is expected to remain most prominent in Asia Pacific, primarily to support growing power-generation requirements.

As demand increases, the world will continue to become more efficient in its energy use, the report says. Without efficiency gains across economies worldwide, energy demand from 2010 to 2040 would be headed toward a 140 percent increase instead of the 35 percent forecast in the report.

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