The Outlook for Energy projects that energy for electricity generation will continue to be the largest component of global demand and is expected to grow by 50 percent to 2040. The growth reflects an expected 85 percent increase in electricity demand, led by developing countries where 1.3 billion people are currently without access to electricity.As the world gradually transitions from coal to cleaner fuels for electricity generation, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, will represent a greater share of the global energy mix. Natural gas, which emits up to 60 percent less carbon dioxide than coal when used for electricity generation, will grow the most. By 2040, natural gas will account for 30 percent of global electricity generation, compared to less than 25 percent today. The Outlook for Energy highlights the important role of efficiency in helping balance energy demand with the growing world economy. Energy-saving practices and technologies, such as hybrid vehicles and high-efficiency natural gas power plants, will help countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) increase economic output by 80 percent without increasing total energy use. In the transportation sector, the number of cars on the road worldwide is expected to approximately double by 2040, but the fuel demand will actually plateau and gradually decline as consumers turn to smaller, lighter vehicles and technologies improve fuel efficiency. The Outlook for Energy is developed each year by a team of experts using a combination of public and proprietary sources, and guides ExxonMobil's global investment decisions. Many of its findings are similar to those from other respected organizations, including the International Energy Agency. ExxonMobil publishes The Outlook for Energy each year to encourage broader understanding of energy issues among policymakers and the public to enable informed decisions on energy issues. Among this year’s findings:
- Energy demand in non-OECD countries will increase 65 percent by 2040 compared to 2010, reflecting growing prosperity in nations that include more than 80 percent of the world’s population.
- Electricity generation is expected to account for more than half of the increase in global energy demand over the next few decades. Natural gas, nuclear and renewables will grow to meet rising electricity demand, while coal and oil use for power generation will decline.
- Global transportation-related energy demand will rise by more than 40 percent from 2010 to 2040. The growth is almost entirely from commercial transportation -- heavy duty, aviation, marine and rail -- as expanding economies and international trade spur greater movement of goods.
- Evolving demand and supply patterns will open the door for increased global trade opportunities. The changing energy landscape in conjunction with an abundance of free trade opportunities will help lead to more choices and creation of value that helps fuel economic growth and improve living standards worldwide.