ACHRNEWS

Feb. 10, 2010: U.S. Energy Outlook Projects Moderate Growth in Consumption, More Use of Renewables

February 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - The Annual Energy Outlook 2010 released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA) 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,” said 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 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:

Moderate Energy Consumption Growth and Greater Use of Renewables: Total primary energy consumption grows by 14 percent between 2008 and 2035, as the fossil fuel share of total U.S. energy consumption falls from 84 percent to 78 percent.

Declining Reliance on Imported Liquid Fuels: Total U.S. consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil liquid fuels 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, as consumption of petroleum-based liquids is essentially flat. As a result, reliance on imported oil declines significantly over the next 25 years.

Shale Gas Drives Growth in Natural Gas Production and Reduces Reliance on Imported Gas: Total domestic natural gas production grows from 20.6 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 23.3 trillion cubic feet in 2035. With technology improvements and rising natural gas prices, natural gas production from shale grows to 6 trillion cubic feet in 2035, more than offsetting declines in conventional production.

Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions Continue to Grow, Assuming No New Policies: CO2 emissions from energy grow at 0.3 percent per year, assuming no new policies to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions. 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 fall by 0.6 percent per year. Most of the CO2 growth is accounted for by the electric power and transportation sectors.

Publication date: 02/08/2010