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

May 26, 2010

EIA: Renewable Energy to Grow Rapidly Over the Next 28 Years

Renewable energy will be the fastest-growing source of energy throughout the world over the next 28 years, helping to meet a projected 49% increase in world energy use, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA released the highlights of its International Energy Outlook 2010 on May 25, and the reference case, sometimes referred to as the "business-as-usual" case, forecasts continued rapid growth in energy use in developing countries through 2035. China and India accounted for 20% of global energy use in 2007, but the EIA expects their consumption to more than double by 2035, at which time they will account for 30% of world energy use.

In general, the EIA reference case does not forecast a strong shift to clean energy throughout the world. While renewable power generation increases the fastest, at 3% per year, coal-fired power will also continue to increase, at a rate of 2.3% per year. The EIA report sees petroleum and liquid fuels remaining as the world's largest energy source through 2035, while natural gas consumption increases by 1.3% per year. As a result, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 29.7 billion metric tons in 2007 to 42.4 billion metric tons in 2035, an increase of 43%. And while the reference case expects oil prices to reach $133 per barrel in 2035, even the EIA's "high oil price" case dampens the energy growth only slightly, yielding a 46% increase by 2035. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions still end up at 41.1 billion metric tons in 2035, an increase of 38%. See the EIA press release and the report highlights.