Oil Remains Lead Energy Source


Oil Remains Lead Energy Source

Global energy demand in 2040 will be 25 percent higher than in 2015, with oil, natural gas and coal still accounting for 77 percent of total energy consumption, according to the 2017 edition of ExxonMobils The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Average fuel economy of new cars worldwide is expected to rise from 30 miles per gallon in 2015 to close to 50 mpg in 2040.

Energy Demand

The company projects demand for all energy types worldwide will rise at an average annual rate of just under 1 percent a year from 2015 to 2040.

Oil will remain the top energy source, with 32 percent of the global energy demand in 2040, down from 34 percent in 2015. Natural gas will remain the fastest-growing energy source, with global consumption rising 44 percent from 124 quadrillion British thermal units in 2015 to 178 quadrillion BTUs in 2040, when it will account for 25 percent of global demand.

Coal is expected to account for 20 percent of world energy demand in 2040, down from 26 percent in 2015. The company noted that while coal remains important in parts of the world, it loses significant share as the world transitions toward energy sources with lower emissions.

From 2015 to 2040, nuclear energys share of total demand is forecast to increase to 7 percent, from 5 percent.

Together, China and India are expected to contribute 45 percent of world energy demand growth from 2015 to 2040.

The combined share of energy used in the United States and European OECD nations will decline from 30 percent in 2015 to close to 20 percent in 2040. The organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is a forum of 34 member nations promoting policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

About 55 percent of the worlds energy demand growth in the next 25 years will be tied to power generation to support increasingly digital and plugged-in lives, the company said. One consequence of the trend will be an uptick in demand for energy types used to generate electricity, notably less carbon-intensive sources such as natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind.

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Global energy demand for transportation is projected to increase by 25 percent from 2015 to 2040.

The number of light-duty vehicles in the world – cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles – is expected to grow about 80 percent from 2015 to 1.8 billion in 2040.

The average light-duty vehicle on the road is expected to get close to 50 miles per gallon in 2040, up from 30 miles per gallon in 2015. Total miles traveled for such vehicles will increase about 60 percent from 2015 to about 14 trillion miles in 2040.

Commercial transportation energy demand is forecast to grow in all regions as economic growth stimulates demand for trucking, aviation, marine and rail. The majority of growth in commercial transportation will occur in the non-OECD countries, consistent with growth in gross domestic product. The company expects technology advances in trucks will come from engine designs, aerodynamic improvements to body design and hybridization. Marine and air transportation are expected to see efficiency gains from improved body design, engine improvements and logistics.

Light duty vehicle energy demand is expected to decrease throughout much of the OECD, including North America and Europe, as efficiency gains outweigh increases in the number of vehicles and miles traveled.

ExxonMobil expects light-duty vehicle energy demand will increase throughout the non-OECD countries, led by Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, as car penetration rises with economic growth.

The company projects falling battery costs will enable small, shorter-range electric cars to exceed more than 10 percent of new car sales in the U.S. by 2040, as high cost differentials begin to narrow compared to conventional cars.


The company anticipates energy-related global carbon dioxide emissions are likely to peak and gradually decline to around 36.4 billion tons in 2040, up 11 percent from 32.8 billion tons in 2015.

In the OECD, such emissions are projected to decline by 20 percent from 12.2 billion tons in 2015 to 9.8 billion tons in 2040. OECD nations improved efficiency and carbon dioxide intensity from 1990 to 2015, keeping emissions relatively flat.

In the non-OECD, the outlook estimates such emissions will increase 30 percent from 20.6 billion tons in 2015 to 26.6 billion tons in 2040. Carbon dioxide emissions in non-OECD nations rose about 50 percent from 1990 to 2015, and are likely to increase substantially by 2040 despite a 40 percent gain in efficiency across these emerging economies, the company said.

The largest increase is expected in Asia-Pacific, where energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 23 percent from 15.5 billion tons in 2015 to 19.1 billion tons in 2040. Efficiency gains and lower carbon dioxide intensity are expected to help Chinas emissions to peak in 2030.

In North America, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to decline 15 percent from 6.2 billion tons in 2015 to 5.3 billion tons in 2040. Such emissions in the United States are projected to decrease 20 percent from 5.2 billion tons in 2015 to 4.2 billion tons in 2040.

In Europe, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to decrease 27 percent from 3.9 billion tons in 2015 to 2.8 billion tons in 2040.

The outlook noted that the U.S. and Germany illustrate the different options available to reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. A shift in the U.S. has favored natural gas, along with growth in wind and solar; Germany has targeted greater use of wind and solar, while phasing out nuclear power. From 2005 to 2015, ExxonMobil noted, the carbon dioxide intensity of power generation fell more than 20 percent in the U.S. and about 10 percent in Germany over that time.

The 2017 edition of The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 is posted on ExxonMobils website.

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