WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the complete version of “Annual Energy Outlook 2012” (AEO2012) which, in addition to the reference case projections, includes 29 alternative cases which show how different assumptions regarding market, policy, and technology drivers affect projections of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends, and the direction they may take in the future.

“Uncertainty is inherent in long-term projections,” said Adam Sieminski, administrator, EIA. “By modeling scenarios using a range of assumptions about market, policy, and technology drivers, we gain a better understanding of the potential impacts in critical areas of uncertainty.”

Key results highlighted in AEO2012 include: The rate of growth in energy use slows over the projection period, reflecting moderate population growth, an extended economic recovery, and increasing energy efficiency in end-use applications.

Overall U.S. energy consumption grows at an average annual rate of 0.3 percent from 2010 through 2035 in the AEO2012 Reference case. The United States does not return to the levels of energy demand growth experienced in the 20 years prior to the 2008-2009 recession, because of more moderate projected economic growth and population growth, coupled with increasing levels of energy efficiency and rising energy prices.

Existing federal and state energy requirements and incentives play a continuing role in requiring more efficient technologies. New federal and state policies could lead to further reductions in energy consumption. The potential impact of technology change and the proposed vehicle fuel efficiency standards on energy consumption are examined in several cases in the AEO2012.

Publication date: 8/6/2012