Collaboration in Civic Spheres

U.S. report: global energy use to rise 56 percent by 2040

by Matt Rosenberg July 30th, 2013

Fueled by growth in emerging economies led by China and India, global energy usage between 2010 and 2040 will jump 56 percent while carbon dioxide emissions from energy use will rise 46 percent, according to the “reference case” 2013 International Energy Outlook released in full today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fossil fuels will continue to 2040 to provide almost four-fifths of global energy used, according to the outlook.

The reference, or baseline case, assumes no major changes in law such as a global carbon tax, and no sharp rises in energy prices, both of which could constrain or shift demand.

Said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski in a press release, “Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand. These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040. This will have a profound on the development of world energy markets.”

There’s a sharp division in the Outlook’s usage projections between the now energy-sipping developed nations which belong to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, European countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand – versus the relatively energy-guzzling and developing non-OECD nations such as China, India, Russia, Brazil, and other countries of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South and Central America.

The Outlook projects OECD nations’ total energy consumption will grow from 242.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010 to just 284.6 Btu by 2040, an average annual increase of only .5 percent, versus a jump in combined non-OECD nations over the same span of 263.7 to 535.1 Btu, or 2.2 percent annually (download Excel file).

Combined 2010 energy-related Co2 emissions in OECD nations was 13,079 Million metric tons and is projected in the new Outlook by EIA to grow at an annual rate of just .2 percent to 13,897 Mmt by 2040, while in non-OECD countries those emissions were 18,104 MMt in 2010 and are projected to grow 1.9 percent per year on average to 2040, reaching 45,455 Mmt then (download Excel file).

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Energy-related Co2 emissions in the United States are projected to remain essentially flat from 2010 to 2040 and average annual U.S. energy consumption growth over the 30 years is projected to be just .3 percent versus .5 percent for OECD as a whole. Among OECD nations, Mexico/Chile and South Korea show the most robust growth in energy usage and energy-related C02 emissions from 2010 to 2040.

Renewable energy – particularly wind and hydropower – and then also nuclear power, are projected to be the fastest growing types globally between 2010 and 2040, according to the outlook. Within the fossil fuels sector the fastest growth is projected to be in usage of natural gas.

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