In its latest Energy Outlook to 2040, ExxonMobile projects global transportation-related energy demand will increase by close to 30% by 2040. At the same time, total miles traveled per year by cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks will increase about 60%. Exxon predicts a rise in electric vehicles as well as efficiency improvements in conventional engines, both trends likely leading to a peak in gasoline and diesel use by the world’s light-duty vehicle fleet by 2030.  Full hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-only vehicles will comprise about 40% of global light-duty vehicle sales in 2040. However, crude oil will continue to play a leading role in the world’s energy mix because of growing demand from commercial transportation and the chemical sector. By 2040 heavy-duty vehicle growth will the largest transportation sector by volume, but aviation will grow by the largest percentage. Motorcycles, which offer a lower-cost entry point to personal mobility, will see particularly high ownership in the Asia-Pacific region.

Other findings from ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook:

In 2040, crude oil and natural gas will continue to supply about 55% of the world’s energy needs.

The share of the world’s electricity generated by coal is expected to fall to less than 30% in 2040.

Nuclear and renewable energy sources are likely to account for nearly 40% of the growth in global energy demand to 2040.

Iceland could soon be facing an energy shortage as cryptocurrency mining (eg. bitcoin) soaks up its electricity production. The electricity demand of cryptocurrrency servers on the island now exceed Icelanders’ own private energy consumption. Energy producers fear that they won’t be able to keep up with rising demands, if Iceland continues to attract new companies bidding on the success of cryptocurrencies. The economics of bitcoin mining mean that most miners need access to reliable and very cheap electric power on the order of two or three cents per kilowatt hour. As a result, a lot of firms are migrating to countries with cheap power prices. ”Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson, a spokesman for Icelandic energy producer HS Orka, commented:

“There was a lot of talk about data centers in Iceland about five years ago, but it was a slow start. But six months ago, interest suddenly began to spike. And over the last three months, we have received about one call per day from foreign companies interested in setting up data mining projects here. If all these projects are realized, we won’t have enough energy for the island.”

See The Telegraph, Iceland set to use more energy mining Bitcoin than powering homes

WindEurope reports the European Union added almost 16 gigawatts (GW) of onshore and offshore wind capacity in 2017. Onshore capacity increased by 12.5 GW and offshore grew by 3.1 GW. Last year wind accounted for 12% of Europe’s electricity.

Prices at wind auctions in India appear to have bottomed out. The latest auction, the largest so far in the South Asian country, did not produce lower bids as has been the trend for the at least the past year. The 2,000 MW auction attracted bids of Rs 2.44 and Rs 2.45 per unit. The lowest so far was Rs 2.43 per unit at a sale conducted in December 2017.

Dubai is building a facility to produce hydrogen from solar energy. The facility, to be located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, will use the hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles and for industrial purposes.

The UK Rail Safety and Standards Board is working with French firm Alstrom to bring a hydrogen powered train to the UK in 2020. Alstom has developed a hydrogen-powered train that is currently operating in Germany. The UK government wants to replace all existing diesel powered trains with hydrogen and other alternative fuels by 2040.

SSAB, a leading steelmaker in Sweden, announced it will be constructing a new steel making facility that will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The new plant is set to begin tests between 2020 and 2024. After the testing phase, the company plans to scale the facility up to a demonstration plant. SSAB predicts that the plant will be ready for full production by 2035.

The Australian state of South Australia will have its first hydrogen plant. To be located in Port Lincoln, construction will begin in the next few months. The plant will be making use of both wind and solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen will be used to generate electricity that will be fed into Australia’s energy grid. Australia has hopes of becoming a prominent supplier of hydrogen fuel in the coming years and eventually supplying countries like Japan with the hydrogen they need to power their fuel cell networks.

MIT Technology Review writes about the self-driving revolution in the auto industry.

New Holland Agriculture is partnering with California wine producer E. & J. Gallo Winery in a pilot project to test its autonomous tractor in vineyards. The objective of the project is to obtain enough information to enable these vehicles to meet the real-world requirements of winegrowers. The tractor is an unmanned vehicle that is fully autonomous and can be monitored and controlled via a desktop computer or via a portable tablet interface.


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