ExxonMobil: Global Energy Demand to Grow by 25% by 2040

December 20, 2016

3 Min Read
ExxonMobil: Global Energy Demand to Grow by 25% by 2040
Growth of population around the world is expected to fuel major growth in global energy demand through 2040, according to a new ExxonMobil report. Image courtesy of Flickr user Steven Depolo

Population growth and rising living standards in developing nations are expected to drive global energy demand up by 25% through 2040, according to a new ExxonMobil outlook report on global energy demand. Global energy demand for the industrial sector is projected to rise by 25% during the same period.

“As economies expand around the world, energy demand will increase as more people seek higher standards of living,” said William Colton, vice president of corporate strategic planning of Exxon Mobil Corporation, in a press release announcing the report’s debut on Dec. 16. “Humanity’s dual challenge is to meet growing energy demand while managing risk of climate change.”

In the industrial sector, growth in the chemicals industry is forecasted to fuel an increase of global industrial energy demand through 2040 by 25%, according to ExxonMobil, moderated by improvements in industrial process efficiencies.

The global population is projected to grow by 1.8 billion through 2040 to a total of 9 billion people, the report said, which will create demand for an amount of energy that is “roughly equivalent” to the total energy used now in North America and Latin America. India and China are expected to make up about 45% of world energy demand growth.

“Continuing urbanization and a significant expansion of the middle class, particularly in China and India, will help drive this trend, highlighted by greater access to modern energy in homes, rising industrial demand, and significant increases in personal and commercial transportation needs,” the report said.

While noting that the world’s population is expected to grow by 25% through the period, ExxonMobil said emissions will “only rise 10%.” Emissions will be somewhat curbed moving toward 2040 as buildings become more energy-efficient, progress is made in transportation fuel economy, efficiencies in manufacturing and power plants are furthered, and “shifts to less carbon-intensive energy, like natural gas, nuclear, and renewables” are made, according to the report.

“As global economies grow and government policies change, the energy mix will continue to diversify. Nuclear and renewables will grow strongly with natural gas growing the most,” ExxonMobil said in the document. “The diversification of energy supplies reflects economics and advanced technologies, as well as policies aimed at reducing emissions.”

By 2040, natural gas is expected to satisfy 25% of the world’s energy demand and the combined category of nuclear and renewables will occupy another 25%, growing by about 50% through the period, the report said. Oil is projected to remain the top source of energy around the world, meeting over 30% of energy demand, with transportation and the chemical industries as the leading users. Coal will provide 20% of energy globally by 2040, the report forecasts, and the Wind, Solar, and Biofuels category will account for 7%. 

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