Green energy’s global share to remain marginal in 2040

Solar power, wind energy and bio- fuels will grow faster than other energy sources but their combined share will not be able to meet the growing energy demand before 2040, a senior manager of U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil said Wednesday.

Presenting Exxon Mobil’s Energy Outlook 2040 at the ongoing World Future Energy Summit 2013, which runs in its 6th edition, Morton Mauritzen said that the share of green and clean energy of the global energy mix will rise 6-fold by 2040, to 5.8 percent from the current one percent.

“We do not expect that solar, wind and bio-fuel will gain a larger share because these energy sources are not scalable,” said Mauritzen who overlooks Exxon Mobil’s operations in the UAE, a major oil supplier and the world’s largest company in terms of revenue.

He said the world population is expected to hit 8.7 billion people in 2040, up from 7 billion in 2012, and consequently, the global energy demand will rise by 35 percent in the next thirty years. “This huge increase in power demand can’t be covered by alternative energy but only with fossil fuels as they are reliable, safe and accessible for all.”

Though the clean energy industry will grow at 6 percent per annum, the most significant shift in the energy mix will occur when natural gas displaces coal as the second-largest fuel by 2025, said Mauritzen.

Aldo Flores-Quiroga, the secretary general of the International Energy Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is an association of the largest energy producers and consumers, said that whilst he agreed with Mauritzen that the importance of gas will rise, clean and green energy might gain a larger share than Exxon Mobil was projecting.

“Until 2040, innovation and research will intensify in solar and wind power, so we might see some surprising developments in that field for the mass production.”

The 6th World Future Energy Summit will run through Thursday.

Xinhua