08 July 2015, Lagos – GLOBAL electricity demand is projected to increase by about 85 per cent as living standards rise, economies expand and the need for electrification of society continues.
ExxonMobil, which made this disclosure in its report titled: “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040”, due to be unveiled to Nigerian media next week, expected coal to remain an important source of electricity generation.
Besides, a recent report by McKinsey & Company, expects sub-Saharan Africa to demand about 1,600 terawatt-hours of power by 2040, led by growth in industrial and residential demand.
Among those connected to the grid, electrification rates in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow from 34 per cent in 2010 to about 71 per cent by 2040.
McKinsey stated that urban and peri-urban areas will lead the way, moving from 65 percent to 93 percent, while rural rates will rise from 16 per cent to 46 per cent.
Urban electrification rates are consistently higher than in rural areas, driven by the relative ease and lower cost of delivering connections in cities.
The report expect a further eight per cent of the population to achieve electricity access through off-grid connection (for example, mini-hydro, solar PV).
It added that these will be rural connections, and together with grid access will give almost 80 percent of all sub-Saharan Africans access to electricity.
Meanwhile, the ExxonMobil energy outlook stated that about half of the projected global growth in electricity demand through 2040 will be from the industrial sector.
“In addition to the increased need for manufactured goods that accompanies economic growth and a rising middle class, industry is expected to derive a greater share of its energy from electricity as advanced manufacturing, automation and control technologies continue to transform the sector.
“Strong growth also will be seen in the residential/commercial sector, as rising living standards reflect greater electricity consumption by individuals through the wider use of products like air conditioning, water heaters, appliances, computers and smart devices.
“The electricity to charge smartphones shows up predominantly in the residential/commercial sector. Electricity used to manufacture smartphones and other consumer goods is in the industrial sector, along with the electricity to operate the data centers and networks that provide the content accessed by smartphones”, it added.
Coal is expected to remain an important source of electricity generation, but its share of delivered electricity is expected to drop from 40 per cent to about 25 per cent over The Outlook period as most nations turn to cleaner, less-carbon-intense fuels to improve air quality and curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The report expects the biggest gains to come from natural gas and nuclear power, as well as renewable generation like wind and solar.
Natural gas is expected to supply 135 percent more electricity in 2040 than in 2010, and overtake coal as the largest source of electricity.
“Nuclear capacity is expected to increase by about 90 percent, with growth led by China and India.
“Solar capacity is expected to grow by more than 20 times from 2010 to 2040. More than half of today’s installed solar capacity is non-utility-scale distributed, i.e., rooftop solar for residential and commercial applications. We expect distributed solar will retain a relatively high share of the solar market, expanding to regions that lack well-developed grids.
“Wind capacity is expected to expand by almost five times — the vast majority as onshore wind”, it stated.
The ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy projects that carbon-based fuels will continue to meet about three quarters of global energy needs through 2040, which is consistent with all credible projections, including those made by the International Energy Agency. The outlook shows a shift toward lower-carbon fuels in the coming decades that, in combination with efficiency gains, will lead to a gradual decline in energy- related carbon dioxide emissions.
Wind, solar and biofuels are expected to be the fastest-growing energy sources, increasing about six percent a year on average through 2040, when they will be approaching 4 percent of global energy demand.
Renewables in total will account for about 15 percent of energy demand in 2040. Nuclear energy, one of the fastest-growing energy sources, is expected to nearly double from 2010 to 2040, with growth in the Asia Pacific region, led by China, accounting for about 75 percent of the increase.
“This research offers important perspective about the factors that will drive the world’s energy needs in the coming decades,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation. “Helping individuals, businesses and governments to better understand the elements that shape future energy supply and demand around the world is essential to aid investments and create effective energy policy.”
*Roseline Okere – Guardian