Internet Oil Drum
Velda Addison, Associate Editor
If predictions in ExxonMobil’s latest energy outlook hold true, the planet will be home to 2 billion more people, the global economy will be 130% larger, and there will be a 90% growth in demand for electricity by 2040.
So the world will need to tap every energy source possible – including renewables – to meet global energy demand, which is expected to be about 35% higher.
Fossil fuels are still expected to overwhelmingly supply demand, reaching about 60% about 25 years from now. Although conventional crude oil production is predicted to drop slightly during the forecast period, ExxonMobil believes the decline will be offset by rising tight oil, deepwater, and oil sands production thanks to new technology. Moreover, “we estimate that by 2040, about 65% of the world’s recoverable crude and condensate resource base will have yet to be produced.”
Natural gas is anticipated to be the world’s fastest-growing major energy source through 2040, according to the outlook. It could replace coal in the No. 2 spot, following oil as the world’s top energy source.
Demand for oil could rise by about 25% through 2040, compared to 65% for natural gas, as coal’s demand continues to fall.
But the company believes renewable energy supplies will grow by about 60%, led by jumps in hydro, wind, and solar.
“Wind, solar, and biofuels are likely to make up about 4% of energy supplies in 2040, up from 1% in 2010. We foresee wind and solar providing about 10% of electricity generated in 2040, up from about 2% in 2010,” according to the outlook.
While the percentages of renewable energy supplies’ contributions to the overall energy mix are small, every bit of energy will be needed to meet growing worldwide demand, especially in China and India.