By 2040 the world population will grow by 25 per cent and our global energy demand will grow by 30 per cent, ExxonMobil, USA, Manager - Energy and Economics Division, Robert Gardner told a CEDA audience in NSW, at the first Energy Series event for 2012.
Mr Gardner discussed the findings from ExxonMobil's 2012 The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. The report found that by 2040:
Mr Gardner said China is the largest energy consumer today and that is expected to continue throughout the outlook period (2010-2040). However, China's population will peak shortly after 2030 and then begin to decline. Also its working age population (15-64) will begin declining within the next 10 years.
Consequently, China's energy demand will flatten around 2030 as the country moves into services that are less energy intensive, he said.
Additionally, India's GPD growth will actually start to exceed that of China after 2030 he said.
On climate policy Mr Gardner said: "In OECD countries we've assumed that over this decade climate policies or CO2 management policies are introduced and begin to increase in their impact by 2020, 2030, 2040.
"We think after 2030 you'll see the non-OECD countries, particularly the wealthier ones, introduce climate policies that will move to control CO2 production.
Those policies affect fuel choices, including for electricity generation, he said.
These climate policies will affect price and will lead to an increased demand on gas, nuclear, wind and other low carbon fuel sources, as well as a reduction of, but not elimination of, coal, he said.
On the fuel mix, the report found by 2040:
On transport Mr Gardner said that despite an increase from 800 million cars in the world today to 1.6 billion predicted by 2040, there will be more efficient cars and behaviour changes helping to offset rising fuel demand.
"We'll need more transportation fuels, but at the same time we're going to be significantly more efficient," he said.
"We still end up with a mixture of energy requirements that rely heavily on fossil fuels," he said.
He said we will see a 30 per cent increase in energy, but we won't see a 30 per cent increase in emissions, due to greater use of lower carbon intensive fuels and greater efficiency.
Mr Gardner answered questions from the audience on carbon capture, electric and hydrogen vehicles and nuclear energy.
See the report: The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040
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