ExxonMobil: All Forms of Energy Needed to Meet Demand

The world will require all forms of energy over the next quarter century to meet a greater than one-third increase in demand that will be driven by population growth, improved living standards, and expanded urban­ization, according to ExxonMobil’s “Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040” report. Throughout most of the outlook period, more than half of the growth in unconventional natural gas supply will be in North America, provid­ing a strong foundation for increased economic growth across the U.S., most notably in industries such as energy, chemicals, steel, and manufacturing.

In its annual report, ExxonMobil projects that future energy needs—expected to be about 35% higher in 2040 than in 2010—will be supported by more efficient energy-saving practices and technologies, increased use of less carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas, nuclear, and renewables, as well as the continued technology advances to develop new energy sources.

The outlook projects that oil and natural gas will continue to meet about 60% of energy needs by 2040. Liquid fuels, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and fueloil, will remain the energy choice for most types of transportation because they offer a unique combination of affordabil­ity, availability, portability, and high energy density. An expected 25% increase in demand for oil, led by increased commercial transportation activity, will be met through technology advancements that enable deep-water produc­tion and development of oil sands and tight oil.

Natural gas will continue to be the fastest-grow­ing major fuel source as demand increases by about 65%. Natural gas is projected to account for more than one quarter of all global energy needs by 2040 and is expected to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity. Renew­able energy supplies, including biomass, hydro, geother­mal, wind, solar, and biofuels, will grow by nearly 60%. Wind, solar, and biofuels are likely to make up about 4% of energy supplies in 2040, up from 1% in 2010.