June 7, 2010: Renewable Energy to Grow Rapidly Over the Next 28 Years

June 7, 2010

WASHINGTON - Renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of energy throughout the world over the next 28 years, helping to meet a projected 49 percent increase in world energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA released the highlights of its International Energy Outlook 2010, and the reference case, sometimes referred to as the “business-as-usual” case, forecasts continued rapid growth in energy use in developing countries through 2035. China and India accounted for 20 percent of global energy use in 2007, but the EIA expects their consumption to more than double by 2035, at which time they will account for 30 percent of world energy use.

In general, the EIA reference case does not forecast a strong shift to clean energy throughout the world. While renewable power generation increases the fastest, at 3 percent per year, coal-fired power will also continue to increase, at a rate of 2.3 percent per year. The EIA report sees petroleum and liquid fuels remaining as the world’s largest energy source through 2035, while natural gas consumption increases by 1.3 percent per year. As a result, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 29.7 billion metric tons in 2007 to 42.4 billion metric tons in 2035, an increase of 43 percent. And while the reference case expects oil prices to reach $133 per barrel in 2035, even the EIA’s “high oil price” case dampens energy growth only slightly, yielding a 46 percent increase by 2035. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions still end up at 41.1 billion metric tons in 2035, an increase of 38 percent.

Publication date: 06/07/2010