World Energy Use Projected to Grow 50 Percent Between 2005 and 2030

July 3, 2008

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that world marketed energy consumption will grow by 50 percent between 2005 and 2030.
These are the numbers in the reference case projection from the agency's "International Energy Outlook 2008." The increase in consumption, the EIA says, is driven by robust economic growth and expanding populations in the world's developing countries.

Average world oil prices in every year since 2003 have been higher than the average for the previous year, and prices in 2007 were nearly double the 2003 prices in real terms. The IEO2008 uses oil price cases originally developed in the summer of 2007 for use in the "Annual Energy Outlook 2008", which focuses on the U.S. energy outlook. These prices do not reflect the substantial runup in prices that has occurred since that time.

Nonetheless, although liquid fuels are expected to remain the largest single source of energy through 2030, the liquids share of marketed world energy consumption is projected to decline from 37 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2030 in the IEO2008 reference case.

In addition, the share of conventional oil in the overall liquids supply is expected to decline, with expanded use of unconventional oil, biofuels, and other unconventional liquids. High oil prices lead many consumers to switch to other fuels when feasible; fuel-switching and efficiency gains, for instance, slow the growth of oil use in the industrial sector. Those trends are even stronger in the IEO2008 high price case, which reflects oil prices that are closer to those being paid in mid-2008, as this report is being issued.

Other report highlights include:

* Coal's share of world energy use has increased sharply over the past few years, and without significant changes in existing laws and policies, particularly those related to greenhouse gas emissions, robust growth is likely to continue. Coal accounted for 24 percent of total world energy use in 2002 and 27 percent in 2005, largely as a result of rapid increases in coal use in China.

* Concerns about rising fossil fuel prices, energy security, and greenhouse gas emissions support the development of new nuclear generating capacity. World nuclear capacity is projected to rise from 374 gigawatts in 2005 to 498 gigawatts in 2030.

* Sustained high prices for oil and natural gas encourage expanded use of renewable fuels. Renewable energy sources are attractive for environmental reasons, especially in countries where reducing greenhouse gas emissions is of particular concern.

* In the IEO2008 reference case, which does not include specific policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise from 28.1 billion metric tons in 2005 to 42.3 billion metric tons in 2030 -- an increase of 51 percent. With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected, much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations of the world, especially in Asia.

The full report can be found on EIA's web site:

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