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China, India Drive Global Energy Use

July 29, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

EIA chartOver the next three decades, world energy consumption is projected to increase by 56 percent, driven by growth in the developing world, according to the report International Energy Outlook 2013 released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand. These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040. The two countries will have a profound effect on the development of world energy markets.

Some other key findings:

IEO2013 projects increased world consumption of energy from all fuel sources through 2040. Fossil fuels are expected to continue supplying much of the energy used worldwide. Although petroleum and other liquids remain the largest source of energy, the liquid fuels share of world marketed energy consumption falls from 34 percent in 2010 to 28 percent in 2040.

Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world’s fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5 percent per year; however, fossil fuels continue to supply almost 80 percent of world energy use through 2040.

Natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel in the outlook. Global natural gas consumption grows by 1.7 percent per year. Increasing supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane support growth in projected worldwide gas use.

Coal grows faster than liquid fuels consumption until after 2030, due to increases in China’s consumption of coal and tepid growth in liquid fuels demand attributed to (1) slow growth in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries, and (2) high sustained oil prices.

Almost 80 percent of the projected increase in renewable electricity generation is fueled by hydropower and wind power. The contribution of wind energy, in particular, has grown rapidly over the past decade and this trend continues into the future. Of the 5.4 trillion kilowatt hours of new renewable generation added over the projection period, 52 percent is attributed to hydroelectric power and 28 percent to wind.


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