What will the energy landscape look like a quarter century from now?
A lot different from today, according to ExxonMobil’s 2016 Outlook for Energy, which was released this morning.
In 2040, one in four cars around the world will be a hybrid – up from one in 100 today, according to the report. And average fuel efficiency for all light trucks and passenger vehicles will be about 45 miles per gallon. That’s roughly an 80 percent improvement over the 25 mpg average for today’s vehicles.
Overall global energy demand will be about 25 percent higher in 2040 than at present, driven mainly by economic growth and population increases.
Currently the planet’s 7 billion people consume the energy equivalent to 12 billion gallons of gasoline to power their lives. That’s every single day. So with global population expected to rise to 9 billion people by 2040 and billions of people entering the middle class, it is obvious that more supplies of energy will be required to power the future.
Essentially all the energy demand growth will come from developing countries, led by those in the Asia-Pacific region. By 2040, India will be the most populous nation on the planet; when combined with China, the two are expected to account for almost half of the growth in global energy demand.
Even with such change, however, energy efficiency gains worldwide and the increased use of renewable energy sources and lower carbon fuels will mean that the carbon intensity of the global economy will be cut in half. That’s a significant story that will help in efforts to manage the risks of climate change.
ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy is our annual forecast of the trends shaping the world economy. It offers a long-term global view of energy demand and supply, examining future large-scale economic, demographic, technological, and regulatory developments in order to guide ExxonMobil’s multi-billion dollar investments.