World Energy Use To Grow 44 Percent

Vivi Gorman
Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2009

The Energy Information Administration announced May 27 that world energy consumption is expected to increase by 44 percent in the next 20 years. The agency, which is the independent statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, released it Energy Outlook 2009 (IEO2009), which notes that strong long-term economic growth in developing nations will account for much of the increase in energy consumption.

Although the global economic downturn is temporarily holding back energy demand, the recovery in the next one or two years will eventually lead to a return to pre-recession energy consumption levels. The report predicts higher oil prices to return and continue through 2030. At the same time, the report says a hypothetical model showed that unconventional resources such as biofuels, oil sands, extra-heavy oil, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids will become more competitive.

The report says nearly all of the world’s increase in industrial energy consumption is attributable to emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, which account for more than two-thirds of the developing world’s growth in industrial energy use through 2030.

Carbon Emissions Rise

In terms of environmental impact, the report forecasts energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to rise 39 percent by 2030, with much of the increase occurring in developing nations, especially in Asia.

The steep rise in energy prices in the last several years, along with concerns over greenhouse gas emissions, has prompted interest in alternative energy resources. The report says renewable energy is the fastest-growing source of world electricity generation in the IEO2009 reference case. In the next twenty years, global renewable energy use for electricity generation is expected to grow almost three percent per year and the renewable share of world electricity generation will increase from 19 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2030.

The report says hydropower and wind power would be the major sources of renewable electricity.

The full report can be found on EIA’s web site

test image for this block