How do we meet the 30% higher energy demand by 2040?

The demographic explosion, the boom in the middle classes, economic growth, digitization and increased mobility: all these factors will generate a 30% increase in the global energy demand between 2017 and 2040.

This increase will pave the way for growth in the demand for electricity - likely to be 4 times higher than other energy sources.  



To meet this demand, renewable energies will develop extensively. At the same time, fossil fuels will continue to dominate since they will still represent 77% of the global energy mix by 2040. 

How can we produce all the energy the world will need while also protecting resources and fighting global warming?

To achieve it, we will have to successfully build a world in which energy is decarbonized, decentralized and digitized. 


Global energy needs will increase by 30% between 2017 and 2040

→ Decarbonize energy

Decarbonizing energy is based on three levers.

1- Developing energy efficiency solutions could allow us to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2040. Without them, over the same period, it is estimated that the increase in energy demand would be 100% instead of the expected 30%.

2- Developing zero CO2 energy production: solar, wind, and energy produced from all types of waste.

3- CO2 capture is a future solution for mitigating fossil fuel emissions.

→ Decentralize and digitize energy

Produced in a decentralized and diffuse way, renewable energy disrupts the organization of energy systems, in particular that of electricity grids. The fact that they tend to be intermittent and a large number of actors are involved (regional, local, central, companies, individuals, etc.) transforms practices and makes their management more complex. Smart grids are developing. They integrate energy storage and information and communication technologies for more precise, more flexible management, thereby optimizing the balance between production, distribution and consumption.


Braunschweig, a model of energy transition


Veolia’s solutions and experiments for tomorrow’s world

  • Energy efficiency is at the heart of all Veolia's offerings. The greenest and least expensive energy of all is in fact the energy we do not use.
    In the United States, Veolia supported the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in its strategy to reduce the energy consumption of 3,900 public buildings - including the Bronx Zoo and Grand Central Station. The NYPA has saved more than $134 million and avoided the emission of nearly 820,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, which is equivalent to saving more than 2.5 million barrels of oil per year.
  • As a pioneer in the development of new energy solutions, Veolia has been selected under the European ReUseHeat project to test a process for the recovery and reuse of the excess heat available at urban level. The project includes four large-scale demonstrators: one on a data center in Braunschweig, Germany, the second on wastewater collectors in Nice, the third on the cooling system of a hospital in Madrid, and the last on a metro station in Bucharest.

Only 1% of lost heat is recovered in Europe

  • With microgrids, Veolia is working on developing next-generation heating networks: flexibility, real-time and remote management optimized on the basis of downstream demand and upstream production, recovery of lost local heat.
    In Borås, Sweden, the Group has created a 37,000 m3 hot water tank (the equivalent of 10 Olympic-sized pools) to store the heat produced by a biomass cogeneration plant. This solution levels out the peaks and troughs in the city's energy consumption and reduces its carbon footprint.
  • Despite the increase in renewable energies, fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy mix in 2040. It will therefore be necessary to find solutions that limit the CO2 emissions they will continue to generate. CO2 capture and reuse could help meet this challenge. Consequently, Veolia is conducting experiments with Carbon Clean Solutions Limited (CCSL), an Anglo-Indian start-up that has developed a CO2 capture technology that is 30 to 40% cheaper than any technology available until now. CCSL's flagship facility is a coal-fired power plant in Tamil Nadu, India, which was the first industrial facility in the world to reuse all its CO2 emissions.


490 billion dollars of state aid has been allocated to the fossil fuel sector, as against only 135 billion for renewables. A ratio of almost four to one, which continues to heavily penalize alternative energies