While the emphasis in most areas has been firmly on renewable energy sources, a new report produced by oil giant ExxonMobil expresses confidence that fossil fuels will remain the dominant form of energy over the next 30 years.
The company's report, 2012 Energy Outlook: A View To 2040, suggests that overall energy demand should grow nearly 30 percent within the next two decades.
Developed regions like the U.S. and Europe will remain relatively stable as they invest in energy efficiency, but growth in developing regions will more than compensate, with energy demand outside of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development rising nearly 60 percent.
Though the report notes that a greater emphasis on fuel efficiency in many regions will reduce demand for gasoline, oil exploration is unlikely to slow as rising standards of living in developing nations allow for even more vehicle owners.
However, natural gas development will likely dominate the energy sector, with gas rising from 22 percent of the energy market in 2010 to 27 percent of the market in 2040, according to The Financial Post.