The Energy Outlook for 2040

Went to a presentation by the global forecaster for Exxon Mobil about what they think the outlook will be in 2040. They’ve been doing this for several decades. I did ask how accurate was their 25 year forecast in 1990 for 2015 and he said that they got the overall demand level about right but thought nuclear would be a bigger sector today than it actually is.

The forecast is here.

Some key forecasts are:

  • China will go from 10 cars per 100 people to 30 cars per 100 people
  • Per capita incomes in OECD countries will increase 60% by 2040 while non OECD countries will go up 135%
  • Coal generated electricity will drop from 40% to 30% of electricity
  • Natural gas will grow more than any other energy source which will meet 40% of new demand from 2014 to 2040
  • Energy related co2 emissions will peak around 2030 and then decline
  • Fuel economy for light vehicles will improve by around 80%
  • World population will reach nine billion and India reaches 1.6 billion to become the most populous country
  • China will be 20% of world GDP in 2040
  • India’s GDP per capita will triple
  • Energy demand will increase 25% with OECD demand dropping 5% and rest of the world increasing
  • OECD co2 per capita emissions will fall 30% by 2040 by which date China will have around the same per capita emissions
  • Average growth rates for energy sources will be oil 0.7% a year, gas 1.6%, coal -0.2%, biomass 0.3%, nuclear 2.9%, solar/wind 4.8%, hydro/geo 1.3%
  • World has 150 years supply of oil at current demand levels and estimates rise as technology gets better. So much for peak oil.


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