New technologies that increase energy efficiency and expand affordable energy options will help address the dual challenge over the coming decades, according to ExxonMobil’s latest Outlook for Energy, the company’s long-range supply-and-demand forecast.
The report details how progress and prosperity, especially in developing countries, will significantly change the global energy landscape. Over the next 25 years, growing economies and an expanding middle class will mean better living standards for billions, through increased access to better education and health care as well as new homes, appliances and cars. This means the world will need more energy, even with significant efficiency gains.
Over the same period, the Outlook forecasts an evolving energy mix. Oil will remain central, but natural gas and renewables like solar and wind will become more important in meeting the needs of a growing global economy and more prosperous consumers. The move to these less-carbon-intensive energy sources, which also includes nuclear, will develop in part from governments’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the risks of climate change.
Increasing energy efficiency in the coming years will also help curb emissions. The Outlook forecasts that a myriad of factors, ranging from better insulated buildings to more efficient vehicles and industrial facilities will enable people to get more out of the energy we use.
Check out our infographic to better understand the mix of energy sources that will supply the world’s population as it grows from seven billion to nine billion people in the coming decades.