My colleague Bill Colton and I travelled to Washington today for the release of ExxonMobil’s updated Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040.
ExxonMobil uses the Outlook to guide our long-term business decisions. We also make the Outlook public to help policymakers and other stakeholders understand our view of the global demand for energy, how energy is being used, and the trends shaping markets in the decades ahead.
The headline from an Associated Press story that ran in many newspapers this morning gives some flavor of what’s in the report: “Exxon sees future of rising demand, better efficiency; solar, batteries, biofuels still pricey.”
But there’s a lot more to the Outlook than that, and I hope readers will check it out for themselves.
- Two billion more people on the planet, bringing the global population to nearly 9 billion
- A global economy 130 percent larger than today’s
- Global energy demand 35 percent higher than today, a figure considerably lower than it would be without expected gains in efficiency
- Ninety percent growth in electricity demand
- Sixty percent of global energy demand supplied by oil and natural gas
- Natural gas surpassing coal as the second most-widely used fuel (after oil)
- Global energy-related CO2 emissions plateauing by 2030 and gradually declining after that
I’ll note that the last point about declining CO2 emissions is closely tied to the point just before it about increased use of natural gas. Gas burns much cleaner than coal. When used for electricity generation, natural gas produces up to 60 percent fewer CO2 emissions than coal, which helps explain why in the last several years energy-related CO2 emissions in the United States have fallen to levels not seen since the early 1990s.
The Outlook for Energy is one of ExxonMobil’s signature annual publications. But unlike our Annual Report, our Corporate Citizenship Report, or our Financial and Operating Review, it’s not about ExxonMobil. It’s about the world we live and do business in. I invite you to explore it.