Source: US Energy Information Administration

This week the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its International Energy Outlook 2011.  Its message is clear.  China and India will lead the growth in world demand for energy in the future. In 2035, China’s energy demand is projected to be 68 percent higher than U.S. energy demand.

From the chart above you will see that energy use in the OECD countries — North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia — stays nearly flat during the 2008-2035 period. It’s the rest of the world, particularly China and India, that’s driving the demand for energy.

Electricity is the world’s fastest-growing form of end-use energy consumption. Net electricity generation worldwide rises by 2.3 percent per year on average from 2008 to 2035. Renewable energy sources are the fastest growing source of new electricity generation, increasing by 3 percent and outpacing the average annual increases for natural gas (2.6 percent), nuclear power (2.4 percent), and coal (1.9 percent).  China, India and Russia are expected to build the largest number of nuclear reactors.

Yet even with this rapid growth in renewable energy,  fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas will remain the dominant source of energy.  Renewable energy is expected to increase by 2.8 percent each year and the renewable share of total energy use is forecast to rise from 10 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2035, the report says. However, fossil fuels will still account for 78 percent of world energy use in 2035.


Source: US Energy Information Administration


Natural gas is expected to grow the fastest with a 1.6 percent increase worldwide, from 111 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 169 trillion cubic feet in 2035. Unconventional natural gas supplies, including shale gas, are projected to increase from the U.S., Canada and China.

World coal consumption will increase from 139 quadrillion Btu in 2008 to 209 quadrillion Btu in 2035, at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent. In the absence of policies or legislation that would limit the growth of coal use, China and, to a lesser extent, India and other nations of non-OECD Asia will consume coal in place of more expensive fuels.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increase from 30.2 billion metric tons in 2008 to 43.2 billion metric tons in 2035, an increase of 43 percent. Much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations of the world, especially in Asia where there will be a large demand for coal.

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