EIA Energy Outlook 2010 Reference Case Projects Moderate Growth in US Energy Consumption, Greater Use of Renewables, and Reduced Oil and Natural Gas Imports
|Assuming no new policies, growth in energy-related CO2 is driven by electricity and transportation fuel use. Source: EIA AEO2010. Click to enlarge.|
Existing US policies that stress energy efficiency and alternative fuels, together with higher energy prices, will curb energy consumption growth and shift the energy mix toward renewable fuels, according to the reference case for theAnnual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
However, assuming no new policies, however, fossil fuels would still provide about 78% of all the energy used in 2035 and CO2 emissions from energy will grow at 0.3% per year, or 8.7% overall from 2008 to 2035. CO2 emissions from the transportation sector are projected to remain at 33% of the total in 2035, but increase from 1,925 million metric tons in 2008 to 2,115 in 2035.
|US reliance on imported liquid fuels is reduced by increased domestic production and greater fuel efficiency. Source: EIA AEO2010. Click to enlarge.|
AEO2010 presents updated projections for US energy consumption and production through 2035. The full AEO2010 report, including projections with differing assumptions on the price of oil, the rate of economic growth, and the characteristics of new technologies, will be released in early 2010, along with regional projections.
The reference case projections do not include the effects of potential future policies that have not yet become law—e.g., cap and trade legislation—and only include technologies that are commercially available or can reasonably be expected to become commercially available over roughly the next decade. It does include the revised handling of fuel economy standards to reflect the proposal for light-duty vehicles in model years 2012-2016. Some of the key findings are:
Moderate Energy Consumption Growth and Greater Use of Renewables. Total primary energy consumption grows by 14% between 2008 and 2035, as the fossil fuel share of total US energy consumption falls from 84% to 78%.
Declining Reliance on Imported Liquid Fuels. Total US consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil liquids and biofuels, grows from 19 million barrels per day in 2008 to 22 million barrels per day in 2035. Biofuels account for all of the growth, as consumption of petroleum-based liquids is essentially flat. As a result, reliance on imported oil declines significantly over the next 25 years.
Biofuels meet most of the growth in the liquid fuel supply. Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.
While biofuels will fall short of the 36 billion gallon RFS target in 2022, they will exceed it in 2035.
New light duty vehicle efficiency reaches 40 mpg by 2035. Mild and full hybrid systems combined will have the largest share of annual new light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, followed by flex-fuel systems.
Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.
Shale Gas Drives Growth in Natural Gas Production and Reduces Reliance on Imported Gas. Total domestic natural gas production grows from 20.6 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 23.3 trillion cubic feet in 2035. With technology improvements and rising natural gas prices, natural gas production from shale grows to 6 trillion cubic feet in 2035, more than offsetting declines in conventional production.
Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions Continue to Grow, Assuming No New Policies. CO2 emissions from energy grow at 0.3% per year, assuming no new policies to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions. Total energy-related CO2 emissions grow from 5,814 million metric tons in 2008 to 6,320 million metric tons in 2035, although per capita emissions fall by 0.6% per year. Most of the CO2 growth in the AEO2010 reference case is accounted for by the electric power and transportation sectors.
Other highlights of the AEO2010 reference case projections:
US crude oil production increases from 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to more than 6 million barrels per day in 2027 and remains at just more than 6 million barrels per day through 2035. Growth in crude oil production results from increases in offshore production and in onshore production using enhanced oil recovery techniques.
Total electricity consumption, including both purchases from electric power producers and on-site generation, grows by 1% per year over the projection period, from 3,873 billion kWh in 2008 to 5,021 billion kWh in 2035.
Natural gas and renewable power plants account for the majority of electricity generating capacity additions. The natural gas share falls slightly due to the completion of coal plants under construction, and the addition of new renewable capacity. However, by 2035 the share of generation from natural gas again increases to 21%. Renewable generation shows the strongest growth between now and 2035, spurred by incentive programs in more than half the States. The renewable share of generation grows from 9% of generation in 2008 to 17% of generation in 2035.
Reference case projections from the Early Release of the AEO2010