ExMo Eyes Energys Future


LAS VEGAS – ExxonMobil forecasts global energy demand in 2030 will be 35 percent greater than in 2005, with oil remaining the largest energy source. Hybrid and other advanced vehicles will make up 15 percent of all personal vehicles, up from 1 percent today, an ExxonMobil senior energy advisor told the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers annual meeting.

In The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030, ExxonMobil notes that among fossil fuels, natural gas is abundant, widely available and the cleanest burning. By 2030, global demand for natural gas is expected to be more than 55 percent higher than it was in 2005. Nuclear and renewable fuels will also see strong growth.

Theres a shift away from coal towards natural gas, as well as nuclear and renewable fuels, said X B Cox, global strategic planner for basestocks, ExxonMobil Lubricants
and Specialties, in Fairfax, Va. This is because of [environmental] policies, including ones that seek to reduce emissions by putting costs on carbon. By 2030, we expect 40 percent of the worlds electricity to be generated by nuclear and renewable fuels. Cox addressed STLE here on May 17.

Overall Energy Demand
Global energy demand is the equivalent of 15 billion British Thermal Units of energy every second, every day. ExxonMobil predicts global energy demand will rise by an average of 1.2 percent a year through 2030, driven by economic activity and population growth.

From 2005 to 2030, ExxonMobil foresees global gross domestic product expanding at an average rate of 2.7 percent, even with the recent recession. The worlds population is expected to rise from 6.7 billion today to almost 8 billion by 2030.

Energy demand in the United States and other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries is expected to be slightly lower in 2030 compared to 2005, even though their economies will be more than 50 percent larger on average. The main reason is substantial efficiency gains, according to ExxonMobil.

In comparison, economies in non-OECD countries such as China and India are forecast to grow by about 65 percent from 2005 to 2030. ExxonMobil also sees energy efficiency improving in non-OECD countries, but the increase in overall GDP and population will continue to drive energy demand growth there even faster.

Cox emphasized how energy relates to standards of living throughout the world. We have 1.5 billion people in this world without access to electricity, he pointed out.

About 2.5 billion people, almost 40 percent of the worlds population, lack modern fuels for cooking and heating, relying instead on wood, dung and other traditional biomass fuels which can be not only dangerous but polluting. For many people in widespread poverty, affordable and reliable energy is not a luxury, its vital, he added.

Transportation is one of the fastest growing sectors, Cox pointed out, and is most closely associated with oil. While many different types of energy are used to generate electricity, today, and even into the future, 98 percent of our transportation runs on fuels made from crude oils, Cox remarked. Historically, light duty vehicles – cars, SUVs, pickup trucks – have been the largest global transportation sector. That is rapidly changing, he noted.

The major projected growth in transportation sector energy demand comes from commercial transportation, including heavy-duty trucks, airplanes, ships and trains.

Looking out to 2030, the light duty energy demand flattens as more energy efficient vehicles enter the market, he continued. Over the same period, heavy duty vehicles – trucks and buses – will grow the most, as a result of economic growth and increased shipment of goods. By 2030, Cox observed, heavy duty vehicles will make up the largest transportation segment in terms of energy demand.

For personal transportation, he noted, energy demand in OECD countries is expected to drop by 25 percent through 2030, while demand in non-OECD countries is projected to more than double. In OECD economies, the vehicles-per-capita is already pretty high, Cox explained. Any improvements in fuel economy enabled by greater penetration of technologies are probably over time going to have a much bigger impact. But in the non-OECD countries over this time period, we expect rapid growth in vehicle ownership.

Today China has only about 30 vehicles per 1,000 people, compared to 780 per 1,000 in the United States.

Through 2030, gasoline vehicles will remain in the majority, followed by diesel, Cox remarked. But hybrid vehicles and other advanced vehicles will grow rapidly, he stated. We think they will constitute approximately 15 percent of the total personal vehicle fleet, compared to less than 1 percent today. All these changes and trends of course will influence the types and quality of lubricants that drivers will buy in each of these markets.

Electrical Power
Cox pointed out that while many people assume transportation is the largest end use of energy globally, electrical power generation is the largest and fastest-growing sector. By 2030, ExxonMobil expects 40 percent of all energy supplies will be used to make electricity.

Through 2030, power generation will represent about 55 percent of the total growth in energy demand globally. Non-OECD electricity demand will have more than doubled, and accounts for nearly 80 percent of total growth in power demand after 2030, Cox added.

Expanded use of natural gas in power generation should help grow economies and advance environmental goals as well, ExxonMobil noted, with nuclear power also expected to grow significantly, along with wind, solar and biofuels. By 2030, about 40 percent of the worlds electricity will come from nuclear and renewable fuels, the company predicts.

ExxonMobil expects global carbon dioxide emissions to rise by an average 0.9 percent per year through 2030, when they will be about 25 percent higher than in 2005. The increase is slower than energy-demand growth over that period, ExxonMobil said, due to expected efficiency gains and a shift to lower-carbon fuels.

Energy-related CO2 emissions in the United States and other OECD countries are expected to decline by about 15 percent, according to the outlook, and by 2030 be down to 1980 levels. By 2030, non-OECD countries will account for two-thirds of the global CO2 emissions total.

Cox emphasized the importance of taking meaningful steps to curb CO2 emissions globally. We can meet the interlocking challenges, but to do so we need to expand all economic energy sources, improve their efficiency, mitigate use through clean burning fuels such as natural gas, he observed. These solutions must be supported not by billions but by trillions of dollars of new energy investment, a long term focus – not something measured by weeks, months or years – and constant technological innovation.

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