EIA Energy Outlook Projects Moderate Growth in U.S. Energy Consumption

12/14/2009 |

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) reference case, which presents updated projections for U.S. energy consumption and production through 2035.

“Our projections show that existing policies that stress energy efficiency and alternative fuels, together with higher energy prices, curb energy consumption growth and shift the energy mix toward renewable fuels,” says EIA Administrator Richard Newell. “However, assuming no new policies, fossil fuels would still provide about 78 percent of all the energy used in 2035.”

These reference case projections do not include the effects of potential future policies that have not yet become law, and only include technologies that are commercially available or can reasonably be expected to become commercially available over roughly the next decade. Some of the key findings are:
  • Total primary energy consumption grows by 14 percent between 2008 and 2035, as the fossil fuel share of total U.S. energy consumption falls to 78 percent.
  • Total U.S. consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil liquids and biofuels, grows from 19 million barrels per day in 2008 to 22 million barrels per day in 2035. Biofuels account for all of the growth; therefore, reliance on imported oil declines significantly over the next 25 years.
  • CO2 emissions from energy grow at 0.3 percent per year, assuming no new policies to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions are implemented.
  • Total energy-related CO2 emissions grow from 5,814 million metric tons in 2008 to 6,320 million metric tons in 2035, although per capita emissions decrease by 0.6 percent per year – most of the CO2 growth in the reference case is accounted for by the electric power and transportation sectors.
The reference case projections from the early release of the AEO2010 are available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html. The full AEO2010 report, including projections with differing assumptions on the price of oil, the rate of economic growth, and the characteristics of new technologies, will be released in early 2010, along with regional projections.

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