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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

EIA: World Energy Use Will Rise 44% By 2030; Developing Nations Demand Abundant, Affordable Energy

Driven largely by strong economic growth in developing nations, world energy consumption will grow 44% between 2006 and 2030, according to updated projections released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA reports:

World marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 44 percent between 2006 and 2030, driven by strong long-term economic growth in the developing nations of the world, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2009 (IEO2009) released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030.
In the decades ahead, the world's rapidly developing nations will clearly demand abundant and affordable energy. The question remains: what will the nations of the world do to ensure that demand is met by clean and cheap energy technologies?

According to the EIA, the report's findings include:
  • The rapid increase in world energy prices from 2003 to 2008, combined with concerns about the environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions, has led to renewed interest in the development of alternatives to fossil fuels. Renewable energy is the fastest-growing source of world electricity generation in the IEO2009 reference case, supported by high prices for fossil fuels and by government incentives for the development of alternative energy sources. From 2006 to 2030, world renewable energy use for electricity generation grows by an average of 2.9 percent per year (Figure 1), and the renewable share of world electricity generation increases from 19 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2030. Hydropower and wind power are the major sources of incremental renewable electricity supply.

  • Worldwide, industrial energy consumption is expected to grow from 175 quadrillion Btu in 2006 to 246 quadrillion Btu in 2030. Industrial energy demand varies across regions and countries of the world, based on levels and mixes of economic activity and technological development, among other factors. About 94 percent of the world increase in industrial sector energy consumption is projected to occur in the emerging economies, where--driven by rapid economic growth--industrial energy consumption grows at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent in the reference case. The key engines of growth in the projection are the so-called "BRIC" countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which account for more than two-thirds of the developing world's growth in industrial energy use through 2030.

  • In the IEO2009 reference case, which does not include specific policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise from 29.1 billion metric tons in 2005 to 40.4 billion metric tons in 2030--an increase of 39 percent. With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected, much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations of the world, especially in Asia (Figure 2).
The full EIA report can be found here.

See also:

  • "Should Major Emitters Focus on the Sun" by Andrew Revkin at Dot Earth; and

  • "IEA Report Confirms Clean and Cheap Energy Needed to Power Global Development" by Jesse Jenkins at the Breakthrough Blog.

  • Originally posted at the Breakthrough Institute

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