Exxon Mobil Forecasts 35% Global Energy Demand Growth by 2030

Global energy demand will climb 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels amid rapid economic growth and an improvement in living standards in developing nations, an Exxon Mobil Corp. forecast shows.

Consumption of natural gas will surpass use of coal as the second-largest global energy source after oil, according to the company’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030, used to guide its investment decisions. Worldwide electricity consumption will rise more than 80 percent during the period, it said.

The estimate by the world’s largest publicly traded oil company is in line with a November forecast by the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based adviser to 28 nations. The IEA said energy demand will grow 36 percent from 2008 to 2035, with 93 percent of the gain coming from nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The outlook “clearly points to a growing demand for energy globally,” Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said in a statement. “The forecasts also show a shift toward natural gas as businesses and governments look for reliable, affordable and cleaner ways to meet energy needs.”

Non-OECD countries will see overall demand grow by 70 percent in the 25 years to 2030, while improvements in energy efficiency will keep consumption flat in the industrialized nations, according to the Exxon Mobil report, which is issued annually. The IEA said that Chinese demand alone will rise 75 percent by 2035 compared with 2005 levels.

Non-OECD demand for power will more than double as more people gain access to electricity, Exxon Mobil said. Demand for natural gas for power generation will jump around the world and increase sixfold in China, it said.

Energy Efficiency

Global growth in energy consumption would be even higher without the projections that efficiency will improve, according to the Exxon Mobil report, which analyzes energy-use patterns in 100 countries.

The Irving, Texas-based company “will continue to invest in technology and innovation to develop new economic energy supplies to help meet this demand while looking for ways to reduce environmental impacts,” Tillerson said.

BP Plc forecast last week that global energy use will rise by almost 40 percent by 2030, led by demand from China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging economies.

Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS-Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said in September that global energy demand will climb 30 percent to 40 percent from 2010 to 2030, spurred by rising incomes in emerging markets and global economic growth. Yergin is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Prize,” a history of the oil industry.

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