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US EIA Projects World Energy Use to Grow 44% Between 2006 and 2030, CO2 Emissions Up by 39%

Projected growth in world carbon dioxide emissions. Source: IEO2009. Click to enlarge.

World marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 44% between 2006 and 2030, driven by strong long-term economic growth in the developing nations of the world, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2009 (IEO2009) released today by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

World carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise from 29.0 billion metric tons in 2006 to 33.1 billion metric tons in 2015 and 40.4 billion metric tons in 2030—an increase of 39% over the projection period. The IEO2009 reference case does not include specific policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions

With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected for most of the non-OECD economies, much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing, non-OECD nations. In 2006, non-OECD emissions exceeded OECD emissions by 14%. In 2030, however, non-OECD emissions are projected to exceed OECD emissions by 77%.

The current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030.

World oil prices have fallen sharply from their July 2008 high mark. As the world’s economies recover, higher world oil prices are assumed to return and to persist through 2030. In the IEO2009 reference case, world oil prices rise to $110 per barrel in 2015 (in real 2007 dollars) and $130 per barrel in 2030.

Total liquid fuels and other petroleum consumption in 2030 is projected to be 22 million barrels per day higher than the 2006 level of 85 million barrels per day. In the reference case, conventional oil supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) contribute 8.2 million barrels per day to the total increase in world liquid fuels production, and conventional supplies from non-OPEC countries add another 3.4 million barrels per day.

In addition, unconventional resources (including biofuels, oil sands, extra-heavy oil, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids) from both non-OPEC and OPEC sources are expected to become increasingly competitive in the reference case. World production of unconventional resources, which totaled 3.1 million barrels per day in 2006, increases to 13.4 million barrels per day in 2030 in the reference case, accounting for 13% of total world liquids supply in 2030.

The EIA notes that experience demonstrates that world oil prices can be extremely volatile. As a result, the IEO2009 includes three world oil price cases that span a very broad range in 2030, from $50 (in 2007 dollars) per barrel in the low price case to $200 per barrel in the high price case. These price paths translate to a fairly broad range of potential supply outlooks in 2030, ranging from 90 million barrels per day in the high price case to 120 million barrels per day in the low price case (compared to 107 million barrels per day in the reference case).

Renewable energy is the fastest-growing source of world electricity generation in the IEO2009 reference case, supported by high prices for fossil fuels and by government incentives for the development of alternative energy sources. From 2006 to 2030, world renewable energy use for electricity generation grows by an average of 2.9% per year, and the renewable share of world electricity generation increases from 19% in 2006 to 21% in 2030. Hydropower and wind power are the major sources of incremental renewable electricity supply.

Worldwide, industrial energy is the largest consuming sector, with consumption expected to grow from 175 quadrillion Btu in 2006 to 246 quadrillion Btu in 2030. Industrial energy demand varies across regions and countries of the world, based on levels and mixes of economic activity and technological development, among other factors. About 94% of the world increase in industrial sector energy consumption is projected to occur in the emerging economies, where—driven by rapid economic growth—industrial energy consumption grows at an average annual rate of 2.1% in the reference case.

The key engines of growth in the projection are the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which account for more than two-thirds of the developing world’s growth in industrial energy use through 2030.

Transportation. The transportation sector is second only to the industrial sector in terms of world energy use. The transportation share of total liquids consumption increases from 51% in 2006 to 56% in 2030 in the IEO2009 reference case, accounting for nearly 80% of the total increase in world liquids consumption.

Much of the growth in transportation energy use is projected for the non-OECD nations, where rapidly expanding economies are expected to see strong growth in liquids consumption as transportation systems become motorized and rising per-capita incomes increase the demand for personal motor vehicle ownership. Non-OECD transportation energy use increases by an average of 2.7% per year from 2006 to 2030.

The outlook expects major urban areas in the non-OECD nations to address transportation congestion and strains on infrastructure with a variety of solutions, including development of mass transit (bus and/or rail) and urban design that reduces vehicle-miles traveled, among other improvements in transportation networks.

In non-OECD Asia, for example, the reference case projects that energy use for personal motor vehicles (light-duty cars and trucks, as well as two- and three-wheel vehicles) will increase by 3.6% per year from 2006 to 2030, while energy use for public passenger travel (rail and bus) also shows robust growth in energy use, averaging 2.9 percent per year.

In the OECD nations, transportation energy consumption grows by a relatively modest average of 0.3 percent per year over the projection period. Transportation infrastructure in the OECD countries generally is well established. Roads and highways connect most population centers, and motorization levels (vehicles per 1,000 people), which already are high, probably will reach saturation by 2030.

As the OECD economies have become more service-oriented, the link between income and the transportation of goods has weakened, and their relatively slow rates of GDP growth and population growth in the IEO2009 reference case lead to the expectation that total transportation energy demand in the OECD countries will increase only modestly from 2006 to 2030.




Interesting to compare previous reports of the EIA. For example their previous predictions for 2030:


2006: 118 mio barrels/day
2007: 118 mio barrels/day
2008: 112.5 mio barrels/day
2009: 107 mio barrels/day

And price (in todays dollars):

2006: 57 /barrel
2007: 59 /barrel
2008: 113 /barrel
2009: 130 /barrel

I see a trend.


The world will use more and more energy (with the exception of economic recession years). This will not necessarily translate into an increase in crude oil consumption.

Will the forecasted drop in fossil liquid fuel consumption be due to production reduction (due to forced restriction or lack of supply sources) or due to the use of more efficient vehicles, aircraft, ships etc or a progressive accellerated switch to HEVs, PHEVs and specially BEVs or the increased use of electrified public transportation etc?

The massive arrival of electrified bikes, VTTs, boats, lawnmowers, cars, trucks, buses, trains, all kind of industrial electrifed machines and tools, HVAC systems etc will certainly have an effect on crude oil consumption and should more than offset the increase in car and truck fleets.

Large scale production of ethanol and other biofuels will also create further reduction in crude oil consumption.

The same thing happened during the switches from wood to coal, from coal to oil and now from oil to electricity. Energy consumption was not reduced when the fuel was switched. The arrival of more people (from 6 to 12 billion) will use more energy but from different sources. Electricity (directly or indirectly)will be the next energy source. Increasing electricity production (from different sources) by 100%, 200% or 300% over a few decades is very doable. Technologies required are all here now and more will be designed.

Npw is the time to invest in electricity production and diversified electrification.



"Will the forecasted drop in fossil liquid fuel consumption be due to production reduction (due to forced restriction or lack of supply sources) or due to the use of more efficient vehicles, aircraft, ships etc or a progressive accellerated switch to HEVs, PHEVs and specially BEVs or the increased use of electrified public transportation etc?"

I think you can see the answer by their shifting predictions of oil price vs oil production. The price is rising, production is dropping. To me that looks like a supply constraint. Has peak oil finally arrived?


I peg peak oil at just this side of 100 million barrels per day, reached around 2012. That is just pulled out of thin air, but time will tell if I am even close to being right.


There are more who disagree with the EIA projections:

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