Dec. 31, 2007: Renewable Energy Growth Boosted in New â€˜Annual Energy Outlook'
Breaking down the numbers for electricity production, geothermal power production is expected to increase 88.4 percent by 2030, while the power generated from wood and other biomass is expected to increase nearly ninefold. Solar thermal power generation is expected to increase more than fourfold, while grid-connected solar power, which provided a miniscule share of the country’s power in 2006, is projected to experience a 73-fold increase. Wind power is projected to experience a fivefold increase, but the EIA does not project any significant offshore wind power in its reference case. Meanwhile, the contributions from biofuels are expected to nearly quadruple, growing from 0.5 quads in 2006 to 1.87 quads in 2030. In addition, residential and commercial use of geothermal heat pumps, solar hot water, and solar and wind power are expected to contribute only 0.17 quads by 2030.
Overall, the EIA report projects higher oil prices in the future, although it anticipates that oil prices will gradually decline to a low of $58 per barrel in 2016. After that, oil prices steadily escalate back to today’s prices by 2030, due to an increasing reliance on “higher cost supplies.” That also retards the growth in U.S. energy use, which increases at 0.9 percent per year in the reference case. And with our increasing reliance on high-tech devices, electricity use increases faster than total energy use, growing at an average annual rate of 1.3 percent.
Publication date: 12/24/2007