Growth in the global middle class, expansion of emerging economies and an additional 2 billion people in the world will contribute to a 35 percent increase in energy demand by 2040, according to a new report released by ExxonMobil.
As demand increases, the world will continue to become more efficient in its energy use, predicts the 2015 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Without efficiency gains across economies worldwide, energy demand from 2010 to 2040 would be headed toward a 140 percent increase instead of the 35 percent forecast in the report.
ExxonMobil projects that carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three quarters of global energy needs through 2040, which is consistent with all credible projections, including those made by the International Energy Agency.
The outlook shows a shift toward lower-carbon fuels in the coming decades that, in combination with efficiency gains, will lead to a gradual decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
The Outlook for Energy identifies major shifts in the market with, for example, North American unconventional gas production forecast to nearly triple by 2040 and the region is expected to surpass the combined output of Russia and the Caspian region as the largest gas-producing area.
In Asia-Pacific, gas production is seen doubling by 2040, driven partly by unconventional production technologies. Demand in the region is expected to climb by about 170 percent, according to the outlook, and as a result, Asia Pacific will likely overtake Europe as the world's largest gas importer.