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Exxon Energy Outlook

January 4, 2017

By Paul Homewood




OK, it’s only Exxon I know, but their latest energy outlook confirms others from BP and the IEA that have forecasted fossil fuels will remain the predominant source of energy up to 2040.

These are the basic findings:















The take home message is that, although the share of fossil fuels as a percentage of energy consumption will fall from 82% in 2015, to 77% in 2040, actual consumption will grow from 459  to 545 quadrillion BTUs.

Despite the hype, wind and solar will still only be providing 4% of the world’s energy in 2040.

Meanwhile, energy related CO2 emissions will increase by 11% to 36.4 billion tonnes.

  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 4, 2017 11:55 am

    Probably written in the pre-Trump days; wonder if they will revise now that the carbon-nonsense looks likely to be stopped?

  2. January 4, 2017 1:27 pm

    Speaking to the US market specifically: The cost of renewables (wind & solar) is much higher than imagined because these undispatchable generation sources are redundant. Wind and solar always need spinning reserve to ‘back-up’ their inherent undependability. Whatever the increased cost is of evermore wind and solar generation, it is passed on to consumers in the form of higher electrical rates.

    Ever higher electrical rates gets interesting. Consumers use less electricity when it costs more. LED lighting conversions alone could easily reduce total loads by seven percent in ten years. The cost of resistance electrical heating in the midwest right now is at least seven times higher than the btu cost of natural gas. Bottled gas btus are one third the cost of electricity equivalents. Conversions from electricity to combustible hydrocarbons occur slowly, but relentlessly. Since 2008 electric sales in the US are declining.

    The US requires electric utilities to purchase electric generation from private sources. This creates further incentives for private industry to co-generate electricity for their industrial use by providing a guaranteed market for the excess capacity.

    Natural Gas, Coal, Oil are all selling at mere fractions of their previous costs creating incentives in all economic sectors to convert to non-grid alternatives.

    If electric utilities continue to see declining sales, that will perversely put upward pressure on electric rates accelerating conversion to non-grid alternative energy.

    I am in danger of sounding like AEP and warning the electric utility industry is doomed. I don’t believe that. But I do see relentless pressure on electric utility pricing and profits. I will not speak of the foreseeable future – it doesn’t exist. But the storm is obviously not passing quickly. I would not rush to invest in investor-owned electric utilities.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 4, 2017 1:52 pm

      This raises the problem of frequency stabilization across the grid. Interesting that there is more talk of DC making a comeback after it was beaten by AC back in the day. I wonder what the split in usage would be given that electronics use DC, lighting can be DC, more so with LED. True that much of the discussion is driven by the windmill and solar crowd.

      • January 4, 2017 4:23 pm

        Micro-generation of DC for small electronic devices using solar is in full swing. Mobility and remoteness drive that market.

        I go to the Congo and help out at a mission station on the upper Congo River just outside Kisangani (old Stanleyville). They are a couple miles out of town and they will probably never connect to the grid. They have a very satisfactory work-around set-up using solar, batteries, and a small generator. Even if they could hook onto the grid, they would need to continue operating the set-up they have because the grid’s power supply is very unreliable there.

        Distributed micro-generation is nobody’s first choice, but it is so workable and affordable it is a very realistic option. The last nodes on the grid won’t ever connect further depressing growth and expansion.

  3. January 4, 2017 4:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. January 4, 2017 5:30 pm

    How awkward! CO2 emissions to peak shortly. China to be the first enemy of the environment.

    I continue with my prediction that an ideological crisis is looming for the eco-green movement. The so-called victims of the capitalist west become revealed as the perpetrators of the crime. Consumist overload of the planet is seen as the result of too many non-white babies.

    I look forward to the shocking conclusion of this sordid tale.

  5. martinbrumby permalink
    January 4, 2017 9:42 pm

    I’m hoping that, long before 2040, many of the perpetrators of the Global Warming and Ruinable Energy frauds, will have been doing some well deserved porrige.

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