‹ Analysis & Projections

AEO2014 Early Release Overview

Release Date: December 16, 2013   |  Full Report Release Date: Early Spring 2014   |  correction   |   Report Number: DOE/EIA-0383ER(2014)

Energy Intensity

From 1992 to 2012, energy use per dollar of GDP declined on average by 1.9% per year, in large part because of shifts within the economy from manufactured goods to the service sectors, which use relatively less energy per dollar of GDP. The dollar-value increase in the service sectors (in constant dollar terms) was almost 12 times the corresponding increase for the industrial sector over the same period. As a result, the share of total shipments accounted for by the industrial sector fell from 30% in 1992 to 22% in 2012 (including a slight increase from 2009 to 2012). In the AEO2014 Reference case, the industrial share of total shipments increases to 24% in 2016, after which it declines again, at a very slow rate, to 23% in 2040. Energy use per 2005 dollar of GDP declines by 43% from 2012 to 2040 in AEO2014 as the result of a continued shift from manufacturing to services (and, even within manufacturing, to less-energy-intensive manufacturing industries), rising energy prices, and the adoption of policies that promote energy efficiency.


figure data

U.S. energy use per capita was fairly constant from 1990 to 2007 but began to fall after 2007. In the AEO2014 Reference case, energy use per capita continues to decline as a result of improvements in energy efficiency (e.g., new appliance and CAFE standards) and changes in the ways energy is used in the U.S. economy. Total U.S. population increases by 21% from 2012 to 2040, but energy use grows by only 12%, with energy use per capita declining by 8% from 2012 to 2040 (Figure 9).

CO2 emissions per 2005 dollar of GDP have historically tracked closely with energy use per dollar of GDP. In the AEO2014 Reference case, however, with lower-carbon fuels accounting for a growing share of total energy use, CO2 emissions per dollar of GDP decline more rapidly than energy use per dollar of GDP, to 56% below their 2005 level in 2040 (or by 2.3% per year).