The latest report (12 November 2014) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) "World Energy Outlook 2014" offers the following takeaways -
(a) Global economic re-structuring towards less energy-intensive development is likely to curb overall energy demand growth. Nevertheless, world primary demand is expected to be 37% higher by 2040. Asia, particularly China, accounts for 60% of the growth, at least until 2030. Oil demand is to increase from 90 mb/d in 2013 to 104 mb/d by 2040. But growth rate is expected to slow from 2% p.a. to 1% p.a.after 2025.
(b) By 2040, world energy supply is to fall into four almost equal categories - (i) low carbon fuel (renewables and nuclear) (ii) oil (iii) natural gas and (iv) coal.
(c) Renewables (particulalry wind, hydro and solar, in that order) are to go from strength to strength, accounting for half of global increase in energy supply, a third of total energy mix, and overtaking the share of coal by 2040, driven by China and other emerging economies.
(d) Nuclear energy will grow only by one percentage point to account for 12% of total energy mix by 2040, with China contributing the lion's share of 40%.
(e) By 2040, while growth in oil demand is expected to slow to near halt, gas demand is likely to increase by over 50%, supported by LNG trade, with the United States becoming the lowest-cost producer. But US shale gas production is expected to level off by late 2030's while US tight oil output is likely to decline by early 2020's.
(f) Coal demand is likely to remain 15% higher by 2040, supported by requirements in China, India, Indonesia and Australia, but the growth rate is expected to plateau in the 2020's and falling back in the 2030's except for India.
(g) Owing to the above dynamics, global temperative is likely to increase by 3.6 degrees C (well above the target of not exceeding 2 degrees) compared with pre-industrial times unless vigorious mitigation measures are implemented globally.
(h) Concentration of energy supply sources, rising costs of extraction, price disincentives, operating and political uncertainties are likely to continue to sustain countries' concerns of energy security, preventing abatement of global energy rivalries.
An Executive Summary of the IEA report can be downloaded below.