Exxon predicts energy demand to grow 25 percent by 2040

Exxon Mobil Corp. expects energy demand to climb 25 percent by 2040 as the global population increases.

China, India and lesser-developed countries will need significantly more energy in the decades to come, Exxon said, as their populations and economies continue to develop. 

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The U.S., Europe and more advanced countries, meanwhile, will see demand and energy-sector carbon emissions slow, according to an Exxon projection released on Monday. 

China and India will combine for more than half the total 25 percent growth in energy demand. But advancements in energy efficiency will keep that figure from rising even higher, the report said. 

“All around the world, we expect energy efficiency to continue to improve, and a greater share of demand to be met by cleaner fuels,” states the annual outlook on energy trends. “In part, these gains will be the result of governments and consumers seeking to meet their demand for energy while also addressing the risks of climate change.”

Exxon, a major oil and natural gas developer, said it expects the two fuels to meet about 60 percent of global energy demand between now and 2040. 

But it acknowledged that governments will continue to institute policies targeting global warming. Those policies, it said, will lead to big growth for natural gas, a cleaner-burning fossil fuel and renewable energy and nuclear power. The latter two are expected to meet about 40 percent of the increase in total energy demand.

The company also said it expects carbon dioxide emissions to peak around 2030. Exxon expects carbon intensity — the rate of emissions relative to the gross domestic product — to be cut in half by 2040. 

“Thanks to economic development opportunities powered by abundant energy, we see the world standing at the cusp of decades of enormous growth and better living standards for billions of people,” the company concluded in its study.