Fossil fuels will likely dominate our energy supply until 2040 according to My San Antonio. In its latest annual long-term forecast, giant energy company Exxon-Mobile says crude oil and natural gas will provide the backbone of the energy needed to power the world by 2040, with most of it coming from North America, Russia and the Middle East. (You can access the forecast here.) Natural gas will displace coal to become the largest electric power generator in the mid-2020s and second only to crude oil as an overall energy source. Natural gas is becoming an energy source of choice because of its 24/7 reliability, its low relative price compared to other energy sources, as well as for its lower greenhouse gas emissions. Currently several countries have policies in place to reduce the use of coal even though it is the cheapest energy source. Nuclear is being phased out in the developed world, largely because of competition from cheaper gas and concerns about radiation.  In the developing, world however, many new nuclear facilities are being planned. Among other predictions in the report:

By 2040, global energy demand will increase by 35 percent from a 2010 base.

Oil and gas demand will grow in Europe and Asia. Asian countries, which are already dependent on imported energy, will see their reliance on foreign sources grow further, and 60% of Europe’s energy consumption will be rely on foreign suppliers as its own production declines. For both oil and gas, Europe and Asia remain the two key importing areas while the Middle East and Russia will stay the biggest exporters.

Hybrids will emerge as the dominant vehicle on the roads in 2040. Hybrid cars, for example, will constitute 35% of the global light-duty vehicle fleet by 2040. These vehicles, which include an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, will account for about half of global new-car sales by 2040. And while there is big interest in using natural gas as a transportation fuel, that shift will occur mainly for heavy-duty commercial trucks and related vehicles.

Gasoline demand, including ethanol, will remain flat largely because of increased efficiency with internal combustion engines.

See also UPI, Global energy demand to increase 35 percent: ExxonMobil and DallasNews, Exxon Mobil predicts big growth in energy demand.

China will see a slowdown in crude oil use for the rest of this decade and into the next said China Daily. The Asian country’s crude oil demand is expected to decline up to 2.5% during the years 2013 to 2020 as new transportation fuels emerge and the government tries to slow down economic growth and reduce its carbon emissions.  Then the decrease will fall to 1.5% from 2020 to 2030.

 “Because of the energy-saving and environmental protection policies, as well as technological development of substitutes for vehicle fuel, there will be a tendency for the consumption growth for petroleum to slow down,” said Li Li, research director at ICIS C1 Energy, a Shanghai-based energy information consultancy…During the 11th Five-Year-Plan (2006-10), China’s annual use growth of petroleum was as high as 7.7 percent on average.

In a related post from UPI we learned that changes in China’s energy/environment policies could strand many Australian coal projects. Australia is currently the world’s largest exporter of coal to China and has 89 coal mine proposals to meet Chinese demand. However, a new report by the University of Oxford warns China’s demand for coal is changing as a result of new environmental regulation, developments in cleaner technologies, worsening air pollution, improving energy efficiency, developments in North American natural gas markets and political activism in the country. The report also warns that Australian state governments will suffer if these projects are abandoned or mothballed, because less production will reduce royalty payments for government coffers. Ben Caldecott, co-author of the report said:

“This could lead to less demand from China and lower coal prices, which would increase the risk that Australian coalmines, reserves and coal-related infrastructure become stranded assets.”

You can access the University of Oxford report here.

Bloomberg observed that the US shale gas revolution is shaking up the UK’s chemical industry. Natural gas, an important input into chemical production, now costs two-thirds less in the US where new supplies from domestic shale drilling have substantially reduced prices for this commodity.  As a result, the UK chemicals business is losing sales to US competitors. By 2020 the chemicals industry in the U.S. will be 21% larger than in Europe, from near parity now, according to the American Chemistry Council.

The Financial Post wrote about how the unforeseen energy boom in the US is “upending” global energy markets.

The U.S. oil boom has put European refineries out of business and undercut West African crude suppliers. Now domestic drillers threaten to roil Asian markets and challenge producers in the Middle East and South America.

Fifteen European refineries have closed in the past five years, with a 16th due to shut this year, the International Energy Agency said, as the U.S. went from depending on fuel from Europe to being a major exporter to the region. Nigeria, which used to send the equivalent of a dozen supertankers of crude a month to the U.S., now ships fewer than three, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And cheap oil from the Rocky Mountains, where output has grown 31% since 2011, will soon allow West Coast companies to cut back on imports of pricier grades from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela that they process for customers in Asia, the world’s fastest-growing market.

Also see energy economist Daniel Yergin’s commented on The Global Impact of US Shale where he said:

The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate.

The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/daniel-yergin-traces-the-effects-of-america-s-shale-energy-revolution-on-the-balance-of-global-economic-and-political-power#bwdOzRuf1TSy9qE0.99
The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/daniel-yergin-traces-the-effects-of-america-s-shale-energy-revolution-on-the-balance-of-global-economic-and-political-power#bwdOzRuf1TSy9qE0.99

eurasia review had a profile of Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude oil producer.

TheBioEnergySite brought our attention to methanol as a post-fossil fuel replacement. 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner George Olah and Surya Prakash imagine a “methanol economy.”

“CO2 and hydrogen can be combined to make a very simple molecule called methanol, it could be used in your internal combustion engine as a high-octane fuel. In fact, methanol is the fuel of choice for all race cars. The beauty is that methanol can be made from recycled carbon dioxide and any kind of energy. Once we run out of oil and gas, mankind can keep on doing this forever. The CO2 recycling is also carbon-neutral.”

See also JALOPNIK, Can You Run A Car On What Comes Out Of Your Butt?

The South China Morning Post looked at the trade offs Asia must consider if it is to successfully decarbonise its economy.  Can Asia meet its economic growth objectives over the next half century as it tries to meet the challenges of the North American shale boom while ratcheting down its use of fossil fuels?

Asia’s policymakers have some serious work ahead of them – making sure they have enough energy to power that all-important growth while keeping one eye on the costs of doing so and another on the smoggy skies above them.

 

 

The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/daniel-yergin-traces-the-effects-of-america-s-shale-energy-revolution-on-the-balance-of-global-economic-and-political-power#bwdOzRuf1TSy9qE0.99

 

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