This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 23, 2007

EIA: World Energy Use to Grow 57 Percent by 2030

Less than a quarter century from now, the world will be consuming 57 percent more energy than it does today, if the latest projections from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) prove correct. The EIA's International Energy Outlook 2007, released on May 21st, projects a growing thirst for energy in developing countries, particularly in Asia. The report sees coal as the fastest-growing energy source, while petroleum consumption increases by more than 30 percent. Meanwhile, liquid fuels produced from biomass, coal, and natural gas are expected to provide 9 percent of the world's liquid fuels supply by 2030. Overall, renewable energy barely increases its share of the world's energy supply over the next 23 years, growing from today's 7 percent share to about 8 percent in 2030.

The EIA's reference scenario does not include greenhouse gas constraints, and as a result, global greenhouse gas emissions increase nearly 60 percent by 2030. The report notes that developing countries produced more greenhouse gas emissions than the industrialized countries in 2004, and are expected to widen the gap in the future. By 2030, the EIA expects today's developing countries to generate 57 percent more greenhouse gases than today's industrialized countries. See the EIA press release and the full report.

The world's future energy needs seem particularly daunting given the current constraints on gasoline supplies, which are driving up prices in the United States. According to the American Automobile Association's "Fuel Gauge Report," the average price for unleaded gasoline in the United States has been setting new records most every day for the weeks leading up to May 23rd. The May 16th edition of the EIA's This Week in Petroleum specifically addresses the record-high prices and notes that gasoline inventories are finally starting to increase. See the Fuel Gauge Report and the May 16th edition of This Week in Petroleum.