Significant 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 today by ExxonMobil.
According to the 2015 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 demand increases will see the world continue to become more efficient in its energy use,.
Without efficiency gains across economies worldwide the report says energy demand from 2010 to 2040 would be headed toward a 140 percent increase instead of the 35 percent forecast in the report.
ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy projects that carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three quarters of global energy needs through 2040, which is consistent with all credible projections, including those made by the International Energy Agency.
The outlook further shows a shift toward lower-carbon fuels in the coming decades that, in combination with efficiency gains, will lead to a gradual decline in energy related carbon dioxide emissions.
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, one of the fastest-growing energy sources, 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.
“This research offers important perspective about the factors that will drive the world’s energy needs in the coming decades. Helping individuals, businesses and governments to better understand the elements that shape future energy supply and demand around the world is essential to aid investments and create effective energy policy,” says Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation. “
The Outlook for Energy also provides ExxonMobil’s long-term view of global energy demand and supply with its findings aimed at helping guide the company’s investments, which support its business strategy.
The outlook is developed by examining energy supply and demand trends in 100 countries, 15 demand sectors covering all manner of personal and business needs and 20 different energy types.
The global middle class is expected to climb from about 2 billion in 2010 to almost 5 billion people by 2030, representing more than half of the world’s population, according to the Brookings Institution.
As projected, that middle class expansion – largely in India and China – will be the largest in history and will have a profound impact on energy demand along with income gains, on-going societal changes such as expanded infrastructure, electrification and urbanization will contribute to greater energy use.
Africa’s liquids exports are expected to decline as local demand more than doubles as non-OECD countries will represent 70 percent of global energy demand by 2040, but energy demand per person in these nations will remain well below OECD levels.
Other highlights from the report shows that energy required to meet rising electricity demand will account for about half of total demand growth while technologies that unlock new unconventional oil and gas supplies will help enable oil and natural gas to meet about 65 percent of global energy demand growth.
By 2040 the report shows abundant sources other than conventional crude and condensate will account for about 45 percent of global liquids production, compared with less than 25 percent in 2010.
At the same time rising natural gas demand will be met with abundant new supplies and significant expansion in trade as unconventional gas production nearly quadruples and LNG trade triples by 2040.