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What will the world’s energy picture look like in the future?

To find the answer, start by studying the world’s long-term demographic and economic trends. By 2040, world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion, up from 7.3 billion today.

Over that same period, global GDP will effectively double, with non-member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seeing particularly high levels of economic growth. This means rising living standards in essentially every corner of the world, and billions of people joining the global middle class.

This economic expansion, coupled with growing numbers of people, will help drive up global energy demand by about 25 percent by the year 2040, similar to adding another North America and Latin America to the world’s current energy demand.

The world will need to pursue all economic energy sources to keep up with this considerable demand growth. Oil and natural gas will likely be nearly 60 percent of global supplies in 2040, while nuclear energy and renewables will grow about 50 percent and be approaching a 25 percent share of the world’s energy mix.

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