China and India are expected to lead the global surge in energy demand over the next two-plus decades, and while renewable energy is expected to grab a growing share of that mix, fossil fuels will still dominate world consumption by 2035, according to a new report.
The International Energy Outlook of 2011, released Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, updates its projections for current markets through 2035, though it does not factor in potential changes in policy. For renewable energy, its future capacity is expected to be greatly determined by existing and future policies for economic giants and developing nations alike.
The report projects that worldwide consumption will grow 53 percent between 2008 and 2035, and that half of that growth will come from China and India. China, which recently became the world’s top energy producer, is expected to use 68 percent more energy than the United States by 2035.
While renewable energy is projected to be the fastest growing source of primary energy over the next 25 years, fossil fuels will maintain their grip as the dominant source of energy. According to the report, renewable energy use will rise from 10 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2035.
Other key projections include:
- From 2008 to 2035, total world energy consumption rises by an average annual 1.6 percent.
- Renewables are the fastest growing source of new electricity generation, increasing by 3.0 percent a year and outpacing the average annual increases for natural gas (2.6 percent), nuclear power (2.4 percent), and coal (1.9 percent).
- Fossil fuels will account for 78 percent of world energy use in 2035.
- Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 30.2 billion metric tons in 2008 to 43.2 billion metric tons in 2035 — an increase of 43 percent. Much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations of the world, especially in Asia.
- China alone accounts for 76 percent of the projected net increase in world coal use, and India and the rest of non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Asia account for another 19 percent of the increase.
- World oil prices will remain high, but oil consumption will continue to grow.
- World production of unconventional resources (including biofuels, oil sands, extra-heavy oil, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids), which totaled 3.9 million barrels per day in 2008, increases to 13.1 million barrels per day in 2035.
- The transportation sector accounted for 27 percent of total world delivered energy consumption in 2008, and transportation energy use will increase by 1.4 percent per year from 2008 to 2035. The transportation share of world total liquids consumption will jump from 54 percent in 2008 to 60 percent in 2035, accounting for 82 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption.