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Annual Energy Outlook 2014

Release Dates: April 7 - 30, 2014   |  Next Early Release Date: December 2014   |  See schedule


The Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013), prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), presents long-term projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040, based on results from EIA's National Energy Modeling System. EIA published an "early release" version of the AEO2013 Reference case in December 2012.

The report begins with an "Executive summary" that highlights key aspects of the projections. It is followed by a "Legislation and regulations" section that discusses evolving legislative and regulatory issues, including a summary of recently enacted legislation and regulations, such as: Updated handling of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for industrial boilers and process heaters [1]; New light-duty vehicle (LDV) greenhouse gas (GHG) and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for model years 2017 to 2025 [2];Reinstatement of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) [3] after the court's announcement of intent to vacate the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) [4]; and Modeling of California's Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) [5], which allows for representation of a cap-and-trade program developed as part of California's GHG reduction goals for 2020.

The "Issues in focus" section contains discussions of selected energy topics, including a discussion of the results in two cases that adopt different assumptions about the future course of existing policies, with one case assuming the elimination of sunset provisions in existing policies and the other case assuming the elimination of the sunset provisions and the extension of a selected group of existing public policies—CAFE standards, appliance standards, and production tax credits. Other discussions include: oil price and production trends in AEO2013; U.S. reliance on imported liquids under a range of cases; competition between coal and natural gas in electric power generation; high and low nuclear scenarios through 2040; and the impact of growth in natural gas liquids production.

The "Market trends" section summarizes the projections for energy markets. The analysis in AEO2013 focuses primarily on a Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, and Low and High Oil Price cases. Results from a number of other alternative cases also are presented, illustrating uncertainties associated with the Reference case projections for energy demand, supply, and prices. Complete tables for the five primary cases are provided in Appendixes A through C. Major results from many of the alternative cases are provided in Appendix D. Complete tables for all the alternative cases are available on EIA's website in a table browser at http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser.

AEO2013 projections are based generally on federal, state, and local laws and regulations in effect as of the end of September 2012. The potential impacts of pending or proposed legislation, regulations, and standards (and sections of existing legislation that require implementing regulations or funds that have not been appropriated) are not reflected in the projections. In certain situations, however, where it is clear that a law or regulation will take effect shortly after the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) is completed, it may be considered in the projection.

AEO2013 is published in accordance with Section 205c of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-91), which requires the EIA Administrator to prepare annual reports on trends and projections for energy use and supply.

Projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are not statements of what will happen but of what might happen, given the assumptions and methodologies used for any particular scenario. The Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013) Reference case projection is a business-as-usual trend estimate, given known technology and technological and demographic trends. EIA explores the impacts of alternative assumptions in other scenarios with different macroeconomic growth rates, world oil prices, and rates of technology progress. The main cases in AEO2013 generally assume that current laws and regulations are maintained throughout the projections. Thus, the projections provide policy-neutral baselines that can be used to analyze policy initiatives.

While energy markets are complex, energy models are simplified representations of energy production and consumption, regulations, and producer and consumer behavior. Projections are highly dependent on the data, methodologies, model structures, and assumptions used in their development. Behavioral characteristics are indicative of real-world tendencies rather than representations of specific outcomes.

Energy market projections are subject to much uncertainty. Many of the events that shape energy markets are random and cannot be anticipated. In addition, future developments in technologies, demographics, and resources cannot be foreseen with certainty. Many key uncertainties in the AEO2013 projections are addressed through alternative cases.

EIA has endeavored to make these projections as objective, reliable, and useful as possible; however, they should serve as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, a complete and focused analysis of public policy initiatives.

Endnotes for Preface

Links current as of March 2013

1. U.S. Government Printing Office, "Clean Air Act," 42 U.S.C. 7412 (Washington, DC: 2011), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ USCODE-2011-title42/pdf/USCODE-2011-title42-chap85-subchapI-partA.pdf.
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards; Final Rule," Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 199 (Washington, DC: October 15, 2012), https://www.federalregister.gov/ articles/2012/10/15/2012-21972/2017-and-later-model-year-light-duty-vehicle-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-corporateaverage- fuel.
3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR)" (Washington, DC: December 19, 2012), http://www. epa.gov/cair/index.html#older.
4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Fact Sheet: The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule: Reducing the Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone" (Washington, DC: July 2011), http://www.epa.gov/airtransport/pdfs/CSAPRFactsheet.pdf.
5. California Legislative Information, "Assembly Bill No. 32: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006" (Sacramento, CA: September 27, 2006), http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/05-06/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_32_bill_20060927_chaptered.pdf