Earlier this year, Exelon Corp.’s chairman and CEO stated that “natural gas is Queen.” Now, Exxon Mobil reports that in fact, gas is King. In the latest energy outlook report from Exxon, natural gas is projected to replace Old King Coal as the top fuel choice for power generation in the United States by 2025, and will also become the world’s No. 2 overall fuel source.
This 2012 energy outlook looks forward through 2040, whereas last year’s Exxon report projected demand through 2030. The report is accompanied with helpful imagery depicting a sizable and expanding green chunk of the global energy demand space becoming occupied by natural gas, thanks to a combination of factors including abundant supply, expanding power demand, retirement of the coal fleet in certain countries, global greenhouse gas reduction efforts, and a tapering off in China’s population growth rate after 2030.
Shale gas is highlighted in the report as a source of global gas abundance on almost every continent — enough natural gas, according to Exxon, to last about two and a half centuries at current consumption levels. Now, the trick is to harness this abundant, clean resource responsibly and sustainably to maximize benefits for consumers worldwide.