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September 24, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 4

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Energy Demand Forecast to Fall in Europe

Energy demand will decrease 11 percent in Europe and 5 percent in Russia and the Caspian region between 2017 and 2040, according to a new forecast by ExxonMobil. At the same time, the study predicts increases of 37 and 32 percent, respectively, in Africa and the Middle East.

The study predicts that Europe’s energy demand will fall to 69 quadrillion British thermal units by 2040, according to the study, “Outlook for Energy: A Perspective to 2040.” Oil, natural gas and coal are expected to account for 65 percent of that amount, with oil remaining the leader at 33 percent. While most types of energy demand will decline over the 23-year period in Europe, the renewables segment will show strong growth, with consumption expected to be 125 percent higher in 2040 than in 2017. Coal is expected to show the steepest decline, dropping by 65 percent. Europe is likely to increasingly rely on natural gas trade to meet consumer demand as local production declines, the outlook suggests.

Demand in Russia and the Caspian region is expected to slide to 40 quadrillion Btu. Oil, natural gas and coal are forecast to account for 85 percent of demand in that area, with natural gas remaining in the lead at 45 percent.

The Middle East’s energy demand is expected to rise to 48 quadrillion Btu in 2040, with oil and natural gas remaining dominant and accounting for 95 percent of the total.

The outlook anticipates that Russia, the Caspian region and the Middle East together will retain more than half of inter-regional gas trade by further investing in export projects. ExxonMobil said both regions are well positioned to expand pipeline exports and to increase liquid natural gas trade.

Africa’s energy demand is expected to increase to 58 quadrillion Btu in 2040. Unlike other regions, biomass and waste energy demand is expected to remain strong, accounting for 36 percent of the region’s demand by the end of the study timeline. Oil and natural gas will account for a combined 51 percent. Africa’s natural gas production, demand and exports are poised to accelerate, the outlook suggests, led by Mozambique, Nigeria and Egypt.

The outlook projects that delivery of energy for transportation will undergo a significant shift by 2040 thanks to increased penetration of electric vehicles. It estimated the global light-duty fleet – cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles – at about 1.1 billion vehicles in 2017, with about 3 million – 0.3 percent – being plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. By 2040, the company expects the global fleet size to grow to nearly 2 billion vehicles and the EV population to reach 420 million vehicles or almost 20 percent of the global fleet. EVs are projected to account for nearly 30 percent of new car sales then, growing thanks to decreasing battery costs and policies for tailpipe emissions, efficiency and energy independence for importing countries.

In Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries – such as European nations and the United States – passenger vehicle fuel demand is forecast to decline an average of about 30 percent despite a 10 percent increase in the number of cars per 1,000 people. The company attributes that decrease to efficiency gains and powertrain diversification.

Energy demand for all modes of commercial transport – including heavy-duty, rail, marine and aviation – are expected to grow over the outlook period, with heavy-duty trucking accounting for over 50 percent of the growth through 2040.

Although the outlook expects electrification to play a role in certain applications – such as short-haul trucks and buses – electricity in commercial transportation will grow slowly due to upfront costs, range limitations, payload requirements and the pace of infrastructure development.

The 2019 edition of “The Outlook for Energy: A Perspective to 2040” is posted on ExxonMobil’s website here.