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ExxonMobil Outlook: 35% growth in energy demand by 2040; hybrids to account for ~50% of new vehicle sales

15 December 2013

Light-duty-fleet-by-type-chart_full
By 2040, hybrids are expected to account for about 35% of the global light-duty vehicle fleet, up from less than 1% in 2010. Hybrids are expected to account for about half of global new-car sales by 2040. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.

Driven by increasing population, urbanization and rising living standards, the world will require some 35% more energy in 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s annual forecast report: Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Anticipated population growth will reach nearly 9 billion in 2040 from about 7 billion today, and the global economy is projected to double—at an annual growth rate of nearly 3%—largely in the developing world.

Demand for energy in non-OECD nations will grow by about two-thirds, accounting for essentially all of the increase in global energy use. ExxonMobil projects that meeting future energy demand will be supported by more efficient energy-saving practices and technologies; increased use of less-carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas, nuclear and renewables; as well as the continued development of technology advances to develop new energy sources. Without the projected gains in efficiency, global energy demand could have risen by more than 100%.

Co2-emissions-by-region-chart_full
Energy-related CO2 emissions. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.

Market forces and emerging public policies will continue to have an impact on energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. After decades of growth, worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to plateau around 2030 before gradually declining toward 2040, despite a steady rise in overall energy use.

Energy used for power generation will continue to be the largest component of global demand and is expected to grow by more than 50% by 2040 as improved living standards that come with urbanization and rising incomes lead to increased household and industrial electricity consumption through wider penetration of electronics, appliances and other modern conveniences. The growth reflects an expected 90% increase in electricity use, led by developing countries where 1.3 billion people are currently without access to electricity.

Transportation. The number of cars on the road worldwide is expected approximately to double from about 800 million to about 1.7 billion, as the world’s population grows and more people in developing economies are able to afford cars.

In 2010, about 75% of the world’s vehicles were in OECD countries. However, looking ahead, about 80% of the growth in the global fleet will come from non-OECD countries.

Vehicle-pentration_full
Vehicle-efficency_full
Vehicle penetration 2000 to 2040. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.   Range of average vehicle efficiency. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge.

In 2010 China had only about five light-duty vehicles per 100 people, while India had less than two per 100 people; this compares to about 75 vehicles for every 100 people in the United States. However, by 2040, China and India are expected to increase their levels by more than 500%. ExxonMobil expects that by 2030, China will have surpassed the United States as the country with the largest number of personal vehicles, even though China’s vehicles per capita will be about one-third the level of the United States at that time.

However, fuel demand will plateau and gradually decline as consumers turn to smaller, lighter vehicles and technologies improve fuel economy. As a result, the average efficiency of the world’s vehicle fleet is projected to reach about 46 mpg (about 5.1 liters per 100 km) compared to 24 mpg (9.8 liters per 100 km) in 2010.

This unprecedented improvement in global fuel economy is expected to reflect a surge in hybrid vehicle sales. Hybrids, which combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, are expected to account for about half of global new-car sales by 2040, as they become increasingly cost-competitive compared to conventional vehicles.

By 2040, hybrids are expected to account for about 35 percent of the global light-duty vehicle fleet, up from less than 1 percent in 2010. Over the same period, electric and plug-in vehicles are expected to grow to about 70 million cars, or less than 5 percent of the total fleet. This slower growth is attributed to the relatively higher cost of the vehicles, driven by the cost of batteries.

—“Outlook for Energy”

Commercial-transportation-by-region-chart_full
Commercial transportation demand by region. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.

Global demand for energy for commercial transportation is expected to rise by 70% from 2010 to 2040, driven by the projected increase in economic activity and the associated increase in movement of goods and freight. China will see the largest increase—more than 4 million oil-equivalent barrels per day.

Transportation fuels. ExxonMobil projects global demand for gasoline (including ethanol) to be relatively flat from 2010 to 2040, largely because cars and other light-duty vehicles will become much more efficient. On the other hand, demand for diesel (including biodiesel) will grow by about 75% to support the rise in activity in trucks and other commercial transportation. Diesel will also play a more significant role in the marine sector in the latter half of the Outlook period, in response to stricter marine emissions standards. Demand for jet fuel will also grow close to 75%.

Transportation-fuel-mix-by-region-chart_full
Transportation fuel mix by region. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.

ExxonMobil expects that growth in natural gas as a transportation fuel will be seen mainly in commercial vehicles—mostly fleet trucks that can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and long-haul trucks that can use liquefied natural gas (LNG). Lower-sulfur fuel regulations for marine vessels expected over the next decade may attract some shipping companies to invest in LNG capability.

In 2010, natural gas accounted for about 1% of all transportation fuels, with about 45% of that demand concentrated in Asia Pacific. By 2040, the share of natural gas will likely rise to 5%, with growth driven by Asia Pacific and North America.

Global-liquids-supply-by-type-chart_full
Global liquids supply by type. As conventional production declines, more of the world’s oil demand will be met by emerging sources that only recently became available in significant quantities: oil sands, tight oil, deepwater, NGLs and biofuels. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.

Oil. The outlook projects that oil and natural gas will continue to meet about 60% of energy needs by 2040. Liquid fuels—gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and fuel oil—will remain the energy of choice for most types of transportation because they offer a unique combination of affordability, availability, portability and high energy density.

An expected 25% increase in demand for oil, led by increased commercial transportation activity, will be met through technology advances that enable deep-water production and development of oil sands and tight oil.

Natural gas. Natural gas will continue to be the fastest-growing major fuel source as demand increases by about 65%. Natural gas is projected to account for more than one quarter of all global energy needs by 2040 and it is expected to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity.

Nuclear. Nuclear energy will see solid growth despite some countries scaling back their nuclear expansion plans following the 2011 Fukushima incident in Japan. Growth will be led by the Asia Pacific region, where nuclear output is projected to increase from 3% of total energy in 2010 to nearly 9% by 2040.

Renewable energy. Renewable energy supplies—including traditional biomass, hydro and geothermal as well as wind, solar and biofuels—will grow by nearly 60%. Wind, solar and biofuels are likely to make up about 4% of energy supplies in 2040, up from 1% in 2010.

Other key findings from the 2014 Outlook for Energy include:

  • New technologies will continue to play an important role in development of reliable and affordable energy. Significant advancements in oil and natural gas technologies have safely unlocked vast new supplies, already changing the energy landscape in North America and expanding supplies to help meet growing global energy demand.

  • Through most of the outlook period, more than half of the growth in unconventional natural gas supply will be in North America, providing a strong foundation for increased economic growth across the United States, and most notably in industries such as energy, chemicals, steel and manufacturing. About 65% of the world’s recoverable crude and condensate resource will have yet to be produced by 2040.

  • Global chemicals energy demand is expected to rise by about 55% from 2010 to 2040 and will account for 35% of the growth in the industrial sector. Most of the energy demand growth in the chemicals sector will be for the feedstocks to make the building blocks for a wide range of essential products. Fuel demand will grow more slowly as improvements to efficiency reduce demand growth.

  • Oil and natural gas are the most widely traded energy sources and maintaining a robust global energy marketplace will remain critical to meeting rising energy demand.

  • Traded volumes of natural gas in 2040 are expected to be two-and-a-half times the 2010 level, with most of this growth coming from liquefied natural gas.

The Outlook for Energy is ExxonMobil’s long-term global view of energy demand and supply and its findings help guide investments that underpin the company’s business strategy. The outlook is developed by examining energy supply and demand trends in more than 100 countries and 15 demand sectors, such as transportation, industrial and power generation. Twenty different types of energy that will be available to future consumers are evaluated while taking into account assessments of future technologies, government policies and cross-border trade flows.

December 15, 2013 in Forecasts, Fuel Efficiency, Fuels, Hybrids, Natural Gas, Oil, Power Generation | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack (0)

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>>>>>"Transportation. The number of cars on the road worldwide is expected approximately to double from about 800 million to about 1.7 billion, as the world’s population grows and more people in developing economies are able to afford cars."

Unlikely. The old world is already very crowded. The traffic jams in major Chinese cities are so bad that the gov. are really trying to reduce the growth of automobiles in urban areas. Europe and Japan are not likely to increase the number of automobiles nor any major population growth. The affluent part of the new world is already saturated with automobiles, with ratio of 1 car per working adult. The less affluent part of the new world is also quite crowded and will unlikely to double the automobile number.

Wind, solar and biofuel to provide only 4% of the energy supply by 2040 is simply too low a projection. With coming FCV and PHEV, transportation will be more electrified and will incentivise higher penetration of RE. Tougher emission standards in the coming years will ensure a healthy growth of ZEV's, because ICEV will become more expensive to produce.

What Exxon-Mobil can do to prepare for the RE future is to invest more in RE projects and RE fuels. In this way, they can start to project a better future for RE and better prospect for their company.

If Exxon actually foresaw the demise of demand for oil as a transportation fuel I doubt if they would report that publicly. Forecast growth in demand of 25% over 26 years is a CAGR of less than one percent which doesn't seem to be terribly optimistic from an oil company's point of view.

A 30% growth in population will most probably create a 60% to 90% growth in energy consumption over the next 26 years.

That may not mean a 75% growth in fossil energy consumption, specially coal and oil as past population and economic growth created.

The next 26 years will most probably see significant growth in clean energy consumption, specially Solar and Wind (and Nuclear in China?). TOTAL is embarking on a huge worldwide Solar energy program with its new 26% high efficiency panels and expect to use 35% efficiency units by 2025 or so.

Asia, Africa and South America may see much higher energy consumption growth (100+%) in the next 26 years.

We are making great strides with energy efficiency.

One needs to be careful about making future energy needs predictions based on past consumption practices.

The US, for example, wastes about 60% of all energy presently. Most of that waste is in thermal electricity plants and transportation.

We we move to wind and solar and electrified transportation that waste percentage number will fall rapidly.

Unlike with coal, oil and natural gas there is no 'energy waste' with wind and solar. We pay nothing for that energy unlike fossil fuels.

EVs waste about 10% charging and 10% during operation. That's a tiny percentage of the energy wasted with ICEVs and their fuels.

Similar and better gains are being made in non-transportation energy use. Moving from 60 watt incandescents to 9.5 watt LEDs is a huge savings. Appliances are getting much more efficient. Air conditioners are becoming much more efficient.

What one family in a developed world will cut in energy use (without a lifestyle change) will free up energy for one or more families in developing countries. We might be able to absorb a 30% population increase with little or no net increase in energy use.


So it grows at 1% CAGR instead of 2%. Considering Exxon takes $40 billion in profits each year, they can set the price where ever they want to continue those profits independent of volume.

"Similar and better gains are being made in non-transportation energy use. Moving from 60 watt incandescents to 9.5 watt LEDs is a huge savings."

Except for Propane heat, my home energy is all electric. Our electric bill when we first moved in six years ago averaged over $100 a month. Last month it was $51. The difference is CFL's being rapidly replaced by LED's. Those daylight, Cree 9.5 watt LED's are rated as equivalent to 60 watt light output, but seem much better.

Gain in energy efficiency don't translate in reduction of energy consumption. As Aircraft and cars becomes more efficient we use them more, look at the number of computer and falt screen and TV and Game station in each household ? and they get bigger and bigger. Telecommunication system are becoming one of the major energy consumption, is anybody aware that an iphone consume more energy than a refrigerator because of the infrastructure there is behing ? and how many per household?

Actually that Jeavons Paradox stuff about driving/flying more as efficiency grows doesn't hold.

US fleet fuel mileage is dropping, both vehicles and planes. Both miles driven and miles flown are dropping.

My old 19"CRT TV pulled around 150 watts. My sister recently bought a 55% flat screen that pulls 80 watts. She turns on only one TV at a time.

And the iPhone/refer thing does not hold.

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/08/27/does-your-iphone-use-as-much-electricity-as-a-fridge/


XOM underestimates the potential conversion from liquids to natural gas.  IIRC, Ford is selling vehicles ready for installation of NG fuel kits, and several GCC posts have noted the number of truck stops slated for LNG dispensers.  Hardly a day goes by without another post about a company converting tens or hundreds of its trucks to NG in some form.  Then we have the dual-fuel concentric injectors, able to switch a diesel engine to oil for pilot ignition and NG for main fuel supply without altering any engine internals, power output or braking capability.

All it would take is some policy action to push these things forward, and it could all change very quickly.  Should it?  Will it?  Those are the questions.

Please...how much credibility do you put in a biased Oil Company Annual Report, especially EXXON? My guess is hybrids will be far less than 35% if in the mix at all. Hybrids are not practical in a world where inexpensive, light weight, battery electric cars, fueled by renewable power have a mileage range of 500 miles.

"BEVs and Plugins will be 5% of the total fleet"...the only way this will happen is if DOE's JCESR project is cancelled by a bribed Oil Republican in the White House.

see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHs3X75IDo

Funny, there was no mentioning in this E-M energy outlook for the next 25 years regarding FCV's and H2 economy with home-based FC-CHP. FCV's will be commercially-available by 2015 and so will be H2-filling stations. Forward-thinking people will opt for FCV's because of petroleum independency. H2 can be produced quite cheaply from solar and wind energy using local and domestic energy sources, and will not suffer from the several oil shocks of previous decades.

PHEV's will soon become practical and cost-competitive with a comparable ICEV. PHEV's will last longer and retain higher resale values.

Both FCV's and PHEV's will easily offer an option of plug-out ability. This will be very beneficial as a home and work UPS device (Unterruptible Power Supply), as well as provide a powerful source of electricity for camping and outdoor trips, or industrial sites for power tools. With enough of PHEV or FCV work trucks, there may not be a need for lugging around portable electricity generators. The PHEV or FCV work trucks are all that'll be needed, for both work and pleasure!

Flying and driving are miserable endeavors that expose one to countless pollutants and steals time from ones life both because of the wasted time of travel and the shorter life from the toxins, not to mention the cruelty of the ASA and airlines. Once I am done with working, I am done with flying. The pain and harassment are just not worth it. I know some people like to be slaves and get whipped, but not me, and I never will. Sorry there greedy political ideologues, but that's just the way it is. So, manipulate the pain lovers if you want, but your wasting your time with me. Indeed, you have probably lost money by torturing me. It just makes me decide not to consume as you direct the sheep to consume.

To quote Yog Bera, "It is hard to make predictions especially about the future. I think that one could make reasonable predictions about for about 5 years but beyond that, it is hard to know all of the new technological breakthroughs that will be made. A few years ago, I would have predicted that in 10 years some of our main freight railroads would be electrified as the cost of diesel fuel increased but now I would predict that the widespread use of LNG is more likely as I did not understand the impact that fracking would make on the cost and availability of NG.

I think that ExxonMobil’s predictions underestimate the use of LNG and BEVs and PHEVs but some of the growth in BEVs and PHEVs depends on the gains in battery technology. I hope that their predictions on population growth are high. In my opinion, population growth is the real problem and the best way to solve this is the education of women.

I personally doubt that wind and solar will have as much impact in the US as some on this forum would like to believe. It would require a land area about the size of Wyoming to be covered with wind turbines and solar cells to generate all of our electric power requirements. I would like to think that we will have more nuclear power but most of our new power comes from NG turbines. I continue to doubt H2 FCVs will make that much of an impact as most of our hydrogen comes from NG and it is better just to use the NG. Electrolysis seems like a huge waste of power that is better used for other applications. High temperature disassociation using nuclear power might work but that is really speculative.

"It would require a land area about the size of Wyoming to be covered with wind turbines and solar cells to generate all of our electric power requirements."

In 2010, the US used 4,143 TWh (terawatt hours) of electricity. (11,300,000 MWh per day.)

It would take 375,415 3 MW turbines with a 43% CF to produce 4,143 TWh of electricity.

The footprint of a wind turbine is typically around 0.25 acres. This includes the tower foundation, roads, and support structures.

375,415 turbines would require 93,854 acres or 147 square miles.

147 square miles is 0.004% of all US land area. 3.13 Disney Worlds. 6.5 Manhattan Islands. 39% of Los Angeles. 12% of Rhode Island. 0.7% of San Bernardino County, CA. 0.02% of Alaska.

BTW, we are now testing 7.5 MW turbines. Land area doesn’t increase much with increases in turbine size so we could cut land use in half if needed.

That is powering the US with nothing but wind, which we would not do.

Take a look at this map and you can see how much of the US we would have to cover with solar panels were we to get all our power from solar.

http://www.archi-ninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/surface-area-required-to-power-the-world.jpg

Of course we won't build a 100% grid. Perhaps 40% from solar. That would pretty much fit on existing rooftops and over parking lots.


Bob Wallace

A 3 MW turbine has a rotor diameter of about 100 M. Typical spacing is about 5 diameters perpendicular to the prevailing wind and about 10 diameters downwind or an area of 500,000 m2 which is 50 hectares or about 125 acres. See http://en.openei.org/wiki/Wind_energy

Your capacity factor of 0.46 is quite unrealistic. 0.18 would be more realistic. So you need about a 1,000,000 turbines which would require about 125,000,000 acres. This about 200,000 sq mi. Wyoming has an area of 97,814 sq mi. So even if you could apace the turbines closer together and assume a capacity factor of 0.25 which you will not achieve, the turbines still would not fit in Wyoming. The math just does not work out. It would be great if it did but it just doesn't work. The real problem is that the available power is a function of the cube of the wind speed and that is simple physics.

It was once estimated that 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels in the Nevada desert could provide all the nation's electricity. I don't know if that is true, but I calculated that it would cost more than $10 trillion, which IS a barrier.

@sd,
The amount of land covered by wind turbine is not that significant because the land is still usable for farming. The farmer get paid additionally for land rental by having a wind turbine, so additional income, thus added productivity for the land.

The same is true for having solar panels on top of existing roof top and parking lots. Modern solar PV's are now capable of 24-26% efficiency, a far cry from the 10-15% efficiency of yesteryears, meaning that less areas will be required, and hence lower installation cost.

Electrolysis seems like a huge waste of power? Current commercial electrolyzer is capable of 78% efficiency using steady DC electricity. There are ways to improve efficiency of this even more, but still experimental. Or, if the heat generated by electrolysis can be used for other purpose, then efficiency will improve to well above 78%. By comparison, it takes ~5-10% of energy to extract crude oil, then crude oil refining at 84-88% efficiency makes gasoline production no more efficient than making H2 via electrolysis.

The beauty of H2 by electrolysis is that H2 can be made locally everywhere with the highest of purity for FC use, and all in one step, without requiring refining and processing like petroleum. With petroleum, you must first transport the oil thousands miles via vast ocean, or via train or pipeline across the continent with accompanying energy loss, to the refinery. At the refinery, a huge quantity of electricity, NG and H2 will be used to remove the sulfur and other impurity. Then the gasoline or diesel fuels must be transported thousands of miles via the sea or land to the final destination. Please kindly calculate the energy loss in the entire process from crude oil to gasoline!

The raw RE used directly by the electrolyzer can cost a lot less than using RE at the grid to charge your BEV.

Fossil fuel is not sustainable. Sooner or later, we will have to replace all fossil fuel sources with RE. A few simple calculations already have shown that solar PV energy to H2 can easily beat gasoline cost-wise by as much as 2:1 ratio if used in FCV's. The roll-out of FCV's by 2015 will be a landmark event in this respect. In the US, H2 may still be made from NG for a while, because NG is still so cheap here. However, in Europe or Asia, NG is expensive so H2 will be made from solar and wind electricity at lower cost than using petroleum to power cars and buses.

The beauty of combining solar and wind electricity with H2 production is that the intermittency of RE will no longer be a problem. Otherwise, the intermittency of RE is a headache for Germany, that must be solved with expensive grid energy storage or NG backup generation capacity. It is for this reason that RE at the grid is more expensive than RE received directly by the electrolyzers.

@SJC,
The total electricity consumption annually in the USA is around 4000 billion kWh. At 100% capacity factor, this will required 460 GW of generation capacity. At an average of 15% capacity factor for solar PV across the US continent, this will require 3,066 GW of nameplate solar capacity. At $1/W of installed cost over existing developed roof areas, the total cost will be only 3 trilliion USD.

Of course, we will need solar energy at night too, so we must build an electrolyzer-H2-Piping-FC-CHP system for backing up this solar output. Maximum electricity demand in the USA is above 1,000 GW of power, so we must build stationary FC-CHP to supply that power. At $100/kW, the total cost of FC-CHP will be $100 billion. Adding 2 GW of electrolyzer capacity at ~$50/kW will cost 2 hundred billion USD, while building a local system of H2 piping to store the H2 may cost a few hundred billion more...So, let's round up the cost of the electrolyzer-H2-FC-CHP infrastructure at 500 billion to 700 billion USD.

The beauty of FC-CHP is that after sundown, the FC-CHP will kick in, and the waste heat will be used to heat up your hot water tank for bathing, dish washing and laundry, so you can recoup nearly 100% of the energy from the H2.

So, the cost tally is now 3.5 to 3.7 trillion USD for a fully-backed-up solar energy electricity system. If the H2 will be used for transportation and industrial purpose, then more solar PV and electrolyzers will be needed, to raise the tally to about 5 trillion USD. Too big a number?

Not, if this is divided over 20 years. Each year, 250 billion USD will only be needed. Still a big number?

Not, if you look at the following statistic:

The USA is already spending $700-1000 Billions yearly on oil, coal and gas YEARLY. According to: http://www.environmentamerica.org/reports/ame/high-cost-fossil-fuels: "The costs of continuing on our current energy path are steep. American consumers and businesses already spend roughly $700 billion to $1 trillion each year on coal, oil and natural gas, and suffer the incalculable costs of pollution from fossil fuels through damage to our health and environment. If America continues along a business-as-usual energy path, U.S. fossil fuel spending is likely to grow, totaling an estimated $23 trillion between 2010 and 2030."

By declaring WAR on GW, we can use half of the defense budget of $500 to $700 billion USD annually to build up the RE and H2 infrastructures. Thus, after some years of using US Defense Budget to spend to defend against GW, we will start accumulating hundreds of billions of USD yearly of savings from spending on Fossil fuels, and that money can be plowed into building RE and NE generators and H2 infrastructures, without requiring any further spending any money on Defense budget. All the RE and NE and H2 projects will pay for themselves for decades after that...the money spent will be like investments, not like the money spent on useless weapon systems that will be total loss. Does any B-2 or B-52 or nuclear sub or aircraft carrier bring back any revenue for the US gov.? Nope! While money spent of RE and NE facilities will generate revenues years after years...

Of course, I use solar energy only as an example. Where solar energy is not practical, wind, hydro and nuclear energy must be used instead. The concept, though, still holds. For example, nuclear energy has capacity factor of 90% instead of 15% like solar, or 6x more. So, if nuclear energy is available at $6/W of nameplate rating, it will be competitive with solar. Nuclear still requires fuel cost and maintenance while solar requires no fuel and less maintenance, but nuclear as baseload requires no energy storage, so, will come out even with solar.

We currently have the technologies to gradually moving away from fossil fuels and averting the disaster of GW and Climate Change. This will create a lot of jobs and help the economies world-wide that are largely in recessions, with hundreds of millions if not billions unemployed! The Energy Companies have great responsibilities in driving this transition that will maintain their companies' growth, relevance, as well as gaining respects across all members of society. The transition over 20-30 years will be gradual enough that the existing Energy Companies won't lose their exiting investments in oil and gas, but will gradually phase out investments in new oil and gas infrastructures, while building new RE and NE infrastructures gradually, year after year, to the tune of 250-300 billion USD yearly.

I hope that Chevron CEO will say: "We Agree!"

Good arguments RP.

Yes, very large future Wind Turbines (6 to 10 MW) can either be installed over unused 'non-productive' land or over farming land with very little lost of farming areas.

Site selection is important to get up to 50% of name plate production. Other wise, you may end up with 16% to 18% thereby tripling the initial installation cost.

Yes, 25+% efficiency Solar panels can be installed on roofs, parking lots and over non productive sunny areas. TOTAL is already doing it.

The H2 pathway is a good solution for all intermittent clean energy production and will soon become a good alternative to ICEVs, PHEVs with ICE range extender and BEVs.

Time will tell if FCs or Batteries will be the most efficient technology for future LEVs.

HarveyD

Where in North America can you find a site for wind turbines that will generate 50% or name plate capacity? The one place in the world that might produce 50% CF is the Straits of Magellan. Generally speaking, a CF of 20% is considered an excellent site and 18% is more typical. Many of the best sites (ridge lines in California or Wyoming) are already populated with wind turbines.

Also there is a size limitation on land based wind turbines. The blade length, the size of the nacelle, and the diameter of the of the tower are all limitations on transport either by rail or road. The current large turbines are pretty much at the limits.
The height may also be a strong cost limitation for the size of the required rigging equipment.

And I will stand by my comment that it would take more than covering the entire state of Wyoming with wind turbines to produce enough power for the US. Thinking that this is not true is just wishful thinking.

@sd,
The following reference will show that the median capacity factor for onshore wind is 40%. For solar PV, the median capacity factor is 21%.

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/07/27/wind-turbine-net-capacity-factor-50-the-new-normal/

Wind is only necessary to supplement solar for electricity @ night or on cloudy days. We still have hydro and nuclear and geothermal sources as well to deploy. Like in a concert hall, all zero-CO2 resources must fit in harmoniously under a masterful concert director.

The good news is that we will do very well without fossil fuel energy.

Lot's of "wishful thinking" going on here...

The wind turbines in Murdochville QC (a small isolated, closed copper mine, mountain town) with steady good quality winds had 50% to 51% name plate production last year. It is the best (installed) site in our area.

Many sites on the Labrador, Ungava and Hudson Bay shores also have very good quality steady winds.

I fully agree with you that extreme south Chile and Argentina probably have the best very high quality winds. Due to higher wind speed, productivity per wind turbine could be surprisingly high and steady. Installing 2000+ Km high voltage transmission lines to Buenos Aires and Santiago could be costly but could be a worthwhile project, specially with the arrival of post 2020 electrified vehicles?

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