Energy Information Administration Projects 0.6% Annual Growth in Emissions

EIA Energy Information Administration outlook emissions 2017
Katerini, Greece. Credit: Jason Blackeye

The US Energy Information Administration projects that growth in global carbon dioxide emissions from energy-related sources will slow to 0.6% per year through 2040 despite increased energy consumption, according to the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017.

That rate is slower than the 1.8% annual growth in emissions from 1990 to 2015, the EIA’s Perry Lindstrom says in a Today in Energy post. “Emissions from countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) account for all of EIA’s projected growth in energy-related CO2 emissions,” Lindstrom writes.

The EIA says that, overall, economic growth as measured by gross domestic product is a key determinant in the growth of energy demand. The fastest rates of GDP growth are predicted for emerging non-OECD regions, where combined GDP increases by 3.8% annually, “driving the fast-paced growth in future energy consumption among those nations.”

However, the EIA suggests that some of the CO2 emissions related to increasing non-OECD energy demand will likely be mitigated by fuel mix changes. In 2015, renewable energy and nuclear power represented 14% of non-OECD countries’ energy consumption but by 2040 the EIA projects that to jump to 21%.

“Renewables are the world’s fastest-growing energy source, with consumption increasing by an average 2.3% per year between 2015 and 2040,” the report says. “The world’s second fastest-growing source of energy is nuclear power, with consumption increasing by 1.5% per year over that period.”

The International Energy Outlook 2017 focuses on delivered energy use by sector, including the commercial and industrial sectors:

Commercial Sector

  • Globally, the EIA projects average growth in commercial energy use of 1.2% per year from 2015 to 2040, with the highest rates of growth in non-OECD nations
  • Non-OECD commercial sector delivered energy use increases by 1.9% per year from 2015 to 2040
  • OECD commercial energy use expands by 0.7% per year

“Slow expansion of GDP and low or declining population growth in many OECD nations contribute to slower anticipated rates of growth in commercial energy demand,” the report says. “In addition, continued efficiency improvements moderate the growth of energy demand over time, as relatively inefficient equipment is replaced with newer, more efficient stock.”

Industrial Sector

“The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption to end users throughout the projection period,” the report says.

  • The world’s industrial sector accounts for more than half of total delivered energy use through 2040
  • The industrial sector is the largest energy-consuming end-use sector throughout the projection, but growth in the buildings and transportation sectors outpaces industrial sector growth through 2040
  • Worldwide industrial sector energy consumption is projected to increase by an average of 0.7% per year from 2015 to 2040
  • Most of the long-term growth occurs in non-OECD countries
  • From 2015 to 2040, industrial energy consumption in non-OECD countries grows by an average of 0.8% per year, compared with 0.2% per year in OECD countries

“Despite the expected growth in non-OECD industrial sector energy use, the industrial share of total delivered energy in the non-OECD declines over the projection period, from 64% in 2015 to 58% in 2040,” the report says. “Many emerging non-OECD economies, especially China, move away from energy-intensive manufacturing, while energy use grows more rapidly in all other end-use sectors.”

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