The expected rise in our global population — up to 9 billion people by 2040 — will have a huge impact on the world’s economic conditions, resources and our evolving energy needs, according to ExxonMobil’s 2012 “Outlook for Energy” report.
As ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson told the Wall Street Journal, “Understanding future energy trends is critical for effective policy decisions that can help ensure safe, reliable and affordable energy development and economic growth, job creation and expanded global trade.”
With a view to 2040, the report projects that countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — including North America and Europe — will generate 80 percent more economic output (GDP) between now and 2040, while using the same amount of energy.
That means the U.S. and other developed countries will nearly double their energy productivity or reduce their energy intensity by a similar amount — an amazing testament to the role energy efficiency can play in meeting our future energy needs.
Meanwhile, the report claims, the energy demand of underdeveloped (non-OECD) countries will likely grow by close to 60 percent.
But how do we meet this demand?
Gains in efficiency through energy-saving technologies can help here, too, as part of a comprehensive plan to expand our world’s — and our country’s — energy supplies, as Tillerson noted in the report:
In the decades ahead, the world will need to expand energy supplies in a way that is safe, secure, affordable and environmentally responsible. The scale of the challenge is enormous and requires an integrated set of solutions and the pursuit of all economic options.
In particular, new innovations enabled by chemistry — from green automotive technology to highly efficient homes — will be key to the development of reliable and affordable energy moving forward.
Visit ChemistryToEnergy.com to learn more about how you can contribute to a stronger energy future, and how chemistry makes it possible.