A new report produced by Exxon Mobil shows that the world's consumption of oil, nuclear and natural gas is set to increase over 30% in the next 30 years due to rising population and environmental measures to limit coal use.
The world’s population is also set to grow around 30% to 9 billion by 2040, matching the predicted growth in energy consumption.
Growth in energy demand will be strongest in India, with consumption doubling over three decades, followed by Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The US and the EU, on the other hand, will see fuel consumption fall.
Jump in Nuclear
Nuclear energy is set to meet twice as much of the world’s energy demand by 2040, while natural gas supply will jump over 60% to take coal’s spot in second place after oil. Coal use will fall more than 5%, according to an Exxon study.
Renewable energy will see demand increase to four times its present rate by 2040, by which time nearly 80% of the world’s energy demand will be met by coal, oil and gas. Around 15% will be contributed by hydroelectric, biomass and renewables including solar and wind, followed by nuclear, which will provide less than 10% of the world’s energy.
In 2040, crude oil will still be in the top spot, representing almost 90% of the global energy market.
Natural gas is expected to become the most widely used source of fuel, and to knock coal from its place as the most used fuel source in the US. Coal demand will remain strong in developing nations while overall global use of coal will see a falling off due to environmental efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and slower population growth in China.
Hybrid vehicles to help contain fuel demand
The Exxon study also predicts that hybrid vehicles will represent 40% of automobiles by 2040, a 39% rise in the 30-year period. Exxon forecasts a 21 miles per gallon increase in the average miles per gallon for automobiles by 2040.
Fuel demand for large transport vehicles such as planes, trains, trucks and ships is expected to jump an impressive 70% in the same period, with diesel demand predicted to increase 85%. Worldwide demand for gasoline is forecast to decline 10% by 2040.
Hybrid vehicles run on electricity and gas will gain more widespread use thanks to state-imposed regulations to optimize fuel efficiency. In the US, President Obama’s administration is to enforce a requirement calling for average fuel efficiency to be doubled to almost 55 miles to the gallon by 2025.
Oil will remain the world’s most used fuel source for transport, providing 90% of transportation fuel. Exxon predicts that the world’s current oil supplies will last a century. Though environmentally friendly consumers will opt for battery-powered vehicles, hybrids also run on gasoline will attract drivers due to lower prices. Hybrid cars will help keep fuel demand under control in developed nations.
Key Statistics – World Energy Outlook Report 2011 (source: International Energy Agency)
- Global primary demand for energy is expected to rise almost 35% in the 25-year period ending 2035.
- Fossil fuel share in world primary energy consumption is predicted to decline 6% to 75% over the same period.
- CO2 emissions from energy activity will rise 20%.
- About 90% of world energy demand growth will come from non-OECD economies, with China representing 30%.
- By 2035, China will be consuming 70% more energy than the US.