Suzuki to Introduce A-Segment World Concept in New Delhi
Steyr Motors and Frauscher Bootswerft to Launch Diesel-Electric Hybrid System for Pleasure Boats

New EIA Annual Energy Outlook Reflects Higher Energy Prices, Lower Consumption; GHG Emissions Projected to Grow 25% from 2006-2030

AEO2008 projections of energy consumption by sector. Consumption in the transportation sector is projected to grow the most rapidly. Click to enlarge.

The Annual Energy Outlook 2008 (AEO2008) reference case, released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), includes several significant changes from earlier AEOs reflecting trends in the economy and energy markets that the EIA now expects to persist.

EIA has raised the world oil price path in the AEO2008. In the last few years, global economic growth has been strong, despite high oil prices. While current oil prices are above EIA’s reference case projection of long-run prices, it now appears that, in the mid-term, the cost of liquids will be higher than previously projected.

In the AEO2008 reference case, real (2006 dollars) world crude oil prices decline gradually from current levels to $58 per barrel in 2016, as expanded investment brings new supplies to the world market. After 2016, real prices rise as higher cost supplies are brought to market. In 2030, the average real price of crude oil is $72 per barrel in 2006 dollars.

As result of higher energy prices and slower US economic growth (gross domestic product grows at 2.6% per year between 2006 and 2030 in AEO2008 compared to 2.9% per year in AEO2007), total primary energy consumption in the AEO2008 reference case grows more slowly then in previous AEOs, increasing at an average rate of 0.9% per year, from 100.0 quadrillion Btu in 2006 to 123.8 quadrillion Btu in 2030—7.4 quadrillion Btu less than in the AEO2007 reference case.

Delivered energy consumption in the transportation sector grows to 36.6 quadrillion Btu in 2030 in the AEO2008 reference case, 2.7 quadrillion Btu lower than in AEO2007. The lower projected level of consumption predominantly reflects the influence of slower economic growth, but it also reflects higher fuel prices.

Travel demand for light-duty vehicles is a significant determinant of total transportation energy demand, and over the past 20 years it has grown at an average rate of 2.6% per year. In the AEO2008 reference case, travel demand is projected to grow by 1.6% per year through 2030. The slower rate of growth reflects both demographic factors (for example, a slowdown in growth in labor force participation by women) and higher energy prices.

The projected average fuel economy of new light-duty vehicles in the AEO2008 reference case does not reflect the revisions to CAFE standards that now appear likely to be enacted into law. The new CAFE regulations will specify an average new fleet fuel economy of 35 mpg by 2020. The current AEO2008 reference case assumes average new fleet fuel economy of 30 mpg in 2030, reflecting the effect of the increased sale of flex-fuel, hybrid, and diesel vehicles and a slowdown in the sales of new light trucks.

The AEO2008 reference case projects greater renewable energy use than AEO2007. Marketed renewable energy consumption between 2006 and 2030 grows from 6.8 to 12.2 quadrillion Btu, compared with 9.9 quads in the AEO2007 reference case. The higher level of renewable energy consumption is partially a result of higher energy prices in the AEO2008 reference case, but it also reflects a revised representation of State renewable portfolio standards. The updated representation of these programs results in significant additional growth of renewable generation from wind, biomass, and geothermal resources.

Without changes in current carbon emissions policies that are not assumed in the AEO2008 reference case, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions grow sharply, but to lower levels than in AEO2007 because of lower primary energy consumption. Energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to grow by 25% in the AEO2008 between 2006 and 2030, compared to 35% in the AEO2007 reference case.

Other highlights of the AEO2008 reference case projections include:

  • US crude oil production increases from 5.1 in 2006 to a peak of 6.4 million barrels per day in 2019, as a result of increased production from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore enhanced oil recovery projects. Domestic production subsequently declines to 5.6 million barrels per day by 2030, as increased production from new smaller discoveries are inadequate to offset the declines in large fields in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Between 2006 and 2010, the net import share of total liquids supplied drops from 60% to 55%; it stays relatively stable through 2020 before increasing to 59% in 2030.

  • Total domestic natural gas production increases from 18.6 to 20.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) between 2006 and 2021, before declining to 19.9 tcf in 2030. Lower 48 offshore natural gas production grows from 3.0 tcf in 2006 to a peak of 4.5 tcf in 2019 as new resources come online in the Gulf of Mexico. After 2019, lower 48 offshore production declines to 3.5 tcf feet in 2030.

  • The Alaska natural gas pipeline is completed in 2020. After the pipeline begins operation, total Alaskan natural gas production increases from 0.4 tcf in 2006 to 2.0 tcf in 2021 and then to 2.4 tcf in 2030 as the result of a subsequent expansion.

  • Ethanol consumption grows from 5.6 billion gallons in 2006 to 13.5 billion gallons in 2012, far exceeding the required 7.5 billion gallons in 2012 in the Renewable Fuel Standard enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It grows to 17 billion gallons in 2030. Almost all of the ethanol is used in gasoline blending.

  • Total electricity consumption, including both purchases from electric power producers and on-site generation, grows from 3,821 billion kWh (kWh) in 2006 to 5,149 billion kWh in 2030, increasing at an average annual rate of 1.3 percent in the AEO2008 reference case.

  • The natural gas share of electricity generation (including generation in the end-use sectors) remains between 20% and 21% through 2018, before falling to 14% in 2030. The coal share declines slightly, from 49% in 2006 to 48% in 2017, before increasing to 55% in 2030.

  • Nuclear generating capacity increases from 100.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2006 to 118.8 GW in 2030. The increase includes 20 GW of capacity at newly built nuclear power plants and 2.7 GW expected from uprates of existing plants, partially offset by 4.5 GW of retirements.

The EIA will release the full publication of the long-term projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2030, including complete documentation and over 30 additional cases examining energy markets, in early 2008.




Now that Gore has fixed his house, maybe emissions will start to come down a bit!


Hard to credit their $58/bbl forecast when Lehman's oil & gas producers survey shows that the price threshold for investments being made this year is already way above that. And EIA still lumps hydro and other renewables together in their reference case tables--not too helpful. Still, at least their vision is improving with time.


This looks like good work, quite in contrast to the WRI report of yesterday.

Notice our energy use is going up. But some recent reports indicate our gasoline consumption is not and CO2 emissions are not.

There isn't enough data to say these are truly trends yet. But perhaps efficiency, price, and better emission reduction methods are making a difference.

I hope for more of an increase in nuclear. Going from 100 GW now to 119 GW in 2030 isn't much.


Given the declining role of the U.S. as both producer and consumer of oil, it would seem that future projections of the cost would be heavily influenced by the strength, or weakness, of the dollar.

The run up to the price we're at now has a lot to do with the current administrations fiscal irresponsibility bringing down the value of the dollar.

It sure doesn't seem like we'd be able to buy a barrel from anyone for $58 anytime in the future if the dollar continues to be worth less and less.

Max Reid

* US Crude Oil Production has already hit the Peak in 1970's and has started
declining since then, how come its going to increase. Increase in new
field will only compensate for decrease in many existing fields.

* Ethanol will increase along with Butanol and Bio-diesel.

* Nuclear generating capacity will go more than 118.8 GW as more than 30
reactors are under plan.

* If Oil price goes below $ 80/ barrel, OPEC will surely cut the production.

Stan Peterson

These guys are already wildly off target. In the year and half since the NRC started accepting the new Combined Construction and Operating Licenses for pre approved standard designs, the so-called COL licenses, the domestic Utilities have requested 32 Combined Construction and Operating licenses. The typical plant is larger than in the '70s; 30% larger than those currently operating plants. About 1.25 GW, and the largest are almost 1.6 GW while the smallest standard design is still 1.1 GW.

Assuming only the ones on order are built, but this is highly unlikely since at least another dozen are known to be preparing requests for COLs. The added GW aggregates to 44 Plants and it is pretty reasonable to expect 60 GW from those in various stages of the pipeline. Add the 6 GW from up rating and we are at over 60 GW, right there on line by by 2015-2017 or so. that is still 15 years shy of their 2030 projection.

They have not estimated the dramatic shift that is coming as electricity assumes the energy burden formerly supplied exclusively by OIL in the transport sector. Even if electricity takes but half the transportation load, and it is is easy to project it taking 75% or more. (A 40 mile PHEV, like the Chevy Volt, due in 2010, would be on electricity for over 80% of its typical usage.)

Demand for electricity will soar, begetting a lot more generation plants being added to the pipeline. The most efficient and least costly of which are the Nukes, when capital construction costs can be contained and kept to schedule. The reformed laws and the COL along with standard designs help ensure that. Don't forget the Utilities were ordering Nukes like hotcakes back in the '60s when oil was still only $3 dollars a barrel...

It is wholly unrealistic to expect no other orders over the next 22 years to add to the 32 confirmed and dozen or so others in preparation that have accumulated in only the past 2.5 years since the NRC started accepting requests for the reformed COLs.

Their crystal ball is not only cracked, it isn't even in tiny pieces...


In addition to what Stan Peterson said about nuclear, the situation with oil is bound to be worse.

  1. Mexico is on track to have zero exports by about 2013.
  2. Venezuela is in bed with China and is building a pipeline to export over the Pacific (whether this pipeline will ever be completed depends on Chavez remaining in office, which seems less likely given the dual pressures of his political defeat and the economic impact of declining oil production combined with rising domestic consumption).
  3. Kuwait has peaked, Saudi Arabia is at or near peak, and the W. African oil producers are politically unstable.
Oil production appears unlikely to increase much if at all, and the only way we'll see $58/bbl again is if a recession slashes consumption.


Just some general comments:

1. I think an average oil price of $58 per barrel over this period is highly optimistic. In my opinion, a more realistic figure is $80 + with potential for surges well over $120 if ANY new projects fail to come on line (see recent statements by the IEA for reference).

2. The phase in of new automobile technology is seen as FAR TOO SLOW. We have revolutionary technology now in the form of hyper fuel efficiency vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, all electric vehicles and impending plug in electric hybrid vehicles.

3. The phase in of new renewable technology is seen as FAR TOO SLOW. We currently have revolutionary solar technology and rapidly expanding production capacity in the form of third generation extremely thin film photovoltaics produced by companies like Nanosolar and FirstSolar. These technologies are projected to produce electric generation capacity for as little as .33 cents per watt -- 1/3rd that of coal. This is a scalable, cost competitive technology with real potential to move the grid away from non-renewables.

4. For my part, I see the period of 2008 - 2030 as a make or break scenario for modern civilization in which old energy and transportation in the form of oil, coal, natural gas and conventional ICEs drag economies into periodic recessions due to resource problems, expanding costs, geopolitical tension, and increasingly severe climate change. On the other side, we have emerging technologies and new energy providing an increasing opportunity to solve these problems and shift civilization to a much more resilient and sustainable level. If the new energy sources and technologies fail, then we will be in for increasingly severe problems resulting from our dependence to the currently unreliable, expensive, politically and economically dangerous fossil fuels.


there appears to be no one on the planet that isn't aware of the dramatic shift in transportation energy to electric. Unconsidered in the mix is the influx of biofuels which will quicken the transition to renewables for those unable to finance new technology.

Unfortunately, we don't appear to be addressing the waste issue for nukes with much enthusiasm. If 32 new nukes come online one would hope there be a significant effort to deal with waste - this is as great an issue for NRC as the license and oversight process.

Stan Peterson


If we recognize that the new Nuke generation will also be the LAST generation of Fission Nukes (before Fusion)then the problem is solved already. The Yucca Mountain repository has th capacity to handle ALL of that waste. And that is assuming we do not build some actinide burners to burn up and transmute the long-lived wastes into short term wastes safe to handle in only a hundred years or so.

There just is not all that much high level waste.

There is another reason for that ONE LAST generation. It is designed to be ALSO able to burn MOX fuel that present reactors are not designed to accept. Mox is Mixed Uranium and Plutonium fuel.

There are 10,000 dismantled Cold War warheads that need to permanently and forever destroyed. That takes a very special kind of incinerator.

These new generation of power plants are EXACTLY what we need to eliminate these 10,000 atomic bombs forever. That is genuine and real disarmament and inverse proliferation.


i wanna become memeber

The comments to this entry are closed.