‹ Analysis & Projections

AEO2011 Early Release Overview

Release Date: December 16, 2011   |  Next Release Date: January 2012  |   Report Number: DOE/EIA-0383ER(2011)

Energy Intensity

Figure Data
The energy intensity of the U.S. economy, measured as primary energy use (in Btu) per dollar of GDP (in 2005 dollars), declines by 40 percent from 2009 to 2035 in the AEO2011 Reference case as the result of a continued shift from energy-intensive manufacturing to services, rising energy prices, and the adoption of policies that promote energy efficiency (Figure 8). The Reference case reflects observed historical relationships between energy prices and energy conservation. To the extent that consumer preferences change over the projection, the improvement in energy intensity or energy consumption per capita could be greater or smaller.

Figure Data
Since 1992, the energy intensity of the U.S. economy has declined on average by 2 percent per year, in large part because the economic output of the service sectors, which use relatively less energy per dollar of output, has grown at a pace almost 6 times that of the industrial sector (in constant dollar terms). As a result, the share of total shipments accounted for by the industrial sectors fell from 31 percent in 1992 to 24 percent in 2009. In the AEO2011 Reference case, the industrial share of total shipments continues to decline, but at a slower rate, to 21 percent in 2035 (Figure 9).

Population is a key determinant of energy consumption, infl uencing demand for travel, housing, consumer goods, and services. The U.S. population increases by 27 percent from 2009 to 2035 in the AEO2011 Reference case, and energy consumption grows by 21 percent over the same period. Energy consumption per capita declines by an average of 0.2 percent per year from 2009 to 2035 in the AEO2011 Reference case, similar to the decline in the AEO2010 Reference case.