Global energy demand is forecast to increase by 25% between 2014 and 2040, driven by population growth and economic expansion, according to ExxonMobil’s 2016 edition of The Outlook for Energy.
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.
Most growth in energy demand will occur in developing nations that are not part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Per capita income in those countries is likely to increase by 135%.
Natural gas is expected to meet about 40% of the growth in global energy needs and demand for the fuel will increase by 50%. Nuclear and renewable energy sources including bio-energy, hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar are also likely to account for nearly 40% of the growth in global energy demand by 2040, according to ExxonMobil. By then, they are expected to make up nearly 25% of supplies, of which nuclear alone represents about one-third.
ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy projects that global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will peak around 2030, then start to decline. Emissions in OECD nations are projected to fall by about 20% from 2014 to 2040.
The Outlook for Energy examines energy supply and demand trends for approximately 100 countries, 15 demand sectors and 20 different energy types.
Key findings of the report include:
- In 2040, oil and natural gas are expected to make up nearly 60% of global supplies, while nuclear and renewables will be approaching 25%. Oil will provide one-third of the world’s energy in 2040, remaining the No. 1 source of fuel, and natural gas will move into second place.
- North America, which for decades had been an oil importer, is on pace to become a net exporter around 2020.
- India will surpass China as the world’s most populous nation, with 1.6 billion people. The two countries are expected to account for almost half of the growth in global energy demand.
- Global demand for electricity is expected to increase by 65%, and 85% of the increase is in non-OECD nations. The share of the world’s electricity generated by coal is expected to fall to about 30% in 2040, from approximately 40% in 2014.
- Global energy demand from transportation is projected to rise by about 30%, and practically all the growth will be in non-OECD countries.
- Sales of new hybrids are expected to jump from about 2% of new-car sales in 2014 to more than 40% by 2040, when one in four cars in the world will be a hybrid.
- Average fuel economy will rise from 25 to about 45 miles per gallon.
- Already the world’s largest oil-importing region, Asia Pacific’s net imports are projected to rise by more than 50% by 2040 as domestic production remains steady and demand increases.