‹ Analysis & Projections

Annual Energy Outlook 2012

Release Date: June 25, 2012   |  Next Early Release Date: December 5, 2012  |   Report Number: DOE/EIA-0383(2012)

Changes AEO 2011Comparison with other projections

Only IHS Global Insight (IHSGI) produces a comprehensive energy projection with a time horizon similar to that of the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012). Other organizations, however, address one or more aspects of the U.S. energy market. The most recent projection from IHSGI, as well as others that concentrate on economic growth, international oil prices, energy consumption, electricity, natural gas, petroleum, and coal, are compared here with the AEO2012 Reference case.

1. Economic growth

The range of projected economic growth in the outlooks included in the comparison tends to be wider over the first 5 years of the projection period than over a longer period, because the group of variables—such as population, productivity, and labor force growth—that are used to influence long-run economic growth is smaller than the group of variables that affect projections of shortrun growth. The average annual rate of growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) from 2010 to 2015 (in 2005 dollars) ranges from 2.4 percent to 3.4 percent (Table 22). From 2010 to 2020, the 10-year average annual growth rate ranges from 2.5 percent to 3.1 percent..

From 2010 to 2015, real GDP is projected to grow at a 2.5-percent average annual rate in the AEO2012 Reference case, lower than projected by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Blue Chip Consensus (Blue Chip), Social Security Administration (in The 2011 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds), ExxonMobil, and the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland (INFORUM) and higher than projected by Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc. (SEER). The AEO2012 projection of GDP growth is similar to the IHSGI average annual rate of 2.5 percent over the same period.

The average annual GDP growth of 2.5 percent in the AEO2012 Reference case from 2010 to 2020 is at the low end of the range of outlooks, with OMB, INFORUM, and the Social Security Administration projecting the strongest recovery from the 2008-2009 recession. INFORUM projects average annual GDP growth of 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2020, while OMB and the Social Security Administration project annual average growth of 3.0 percent over the same period. The CBO, ExxonMobil, Blue Chip, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) November 2011 World Energy Outlook Current Policies Scenario, and SEER also project higher growth than the AEO2012 Reference case from 2010 to 2020, ranging between 2.6 and 2.8 percent per year over the next 10 years.

There are few public or private projections of GDP growth for the United States that extend to 2035. The AEO2012 Reference case projects 2.5-percent average annual GDP growth from 2010 to 2035, consistent with trends in labor force and productivity growth. IHSGI, ExxonMobil, and the Social Security Administration project GDP growth averaging 2.5 percent per year from 2010 to 2035, and INFORUM (at 2.7 percent) and SEER (at 2.8 percent) project higher GDP growth than in the AEO2012 Reference Case over the same period. IEA projects a slightly lower rate of 2.4 percent per year from 2010 to 2035.

2. Oil prices

In the AEO2012 Reference case, oil prices [West Texas Intermediate (WTI)] rise from $79 per barrel in 2010 to about $117 per barrel in 2015 and $127 per barrel in 2020 (Table 23). From the 2020 level, prices increase slowly to $145 per barrel in 2035. This price trend is slightly higher than the trend shown in last year's AEO2011 Reference case.

Market volatility and different assumptions about the future of the world economy are reflected in the range of price projections for both the short term and the long term; however, most projections show prices rising over the entire course of the projection period. The projections range from $82 per barrel to $117 per barrel in 2015 (a span of $35 per barrel) and from $98 per barrel to $145 per barrel in 2035 (a span of $47 per barrel). The wide range underscores the uncertainty inherent in the projections. The range of the projections is encompassed in the range of the AEO2012 Low and High Oil Price cases, from $58 per barrel to $182 per barrel in 2015 and from $62 per barrel to $200 per barrel in 2035.

The measure of oil prices is, by and large, comparable across projections. EIA reports the price of low-sulfur, light crude oil, approximately the same as the WTI price widely cited in the trade press. The only series that do not report projections in WTI terms are IEA, with prices in the Current Policies Scenario expressed as the price of imported crude oil, and INFORUM, with prices expressed as the average U.S. refiner acquisition cost (RAC) of imported crude oil.

3. Total energy consumption

Five projections by other organizations—INFORUM, IHSGI, ExxonMobil, IEA, and BP—include energy consumption by sector. To allow comparison with the IHSGI projection, the AEO2012 Reference case was adjusted to remove coal-to-liquids (CTL) heat and power, biofuels heat and co-products, and natural gas feedstock use. To allow comparison with the ExxonMobil projection, electricity consumption in each sector was removed from the AEO2012 Reference case projections. To allow comparison with the IEA and BP projections, the AEO2012 Reference case projections for the residential and commercial sectors were combined to produce a buildings sector projection. BP does not include the electric power sector in its projection for total energy consumption; however, it does include conversion losses that allow comparison on the basis of total energy consumption. The IEA projections have a base year of 2009, as opposed to 2010 in the other projections, and BP's projections extend only through 2030, not 2035.

Total energy consumption is higher in all projection years in both the IHSGI and INFORUM projections than in the AEO2012 Reference case. ExxonMobil, IEA, and BP show lower total energy consumption in all years (Table 24). ExxonMobil and BP include a cost for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in their outlooks, which helps to explain the lower level of consumption in those outlooks. While the IEA reference case also includes a cost for CO2 emissions, the IEA Current Policies Scenario (which assumes that no new policies are added to those in place in mid-2011) was used for comparison in this analysis, because it corresponds better with the assumptions in AEO2012.

The INFORUM projection of total energy consumption in 2035 is almost 8 quadrillion Btu higher than the AEO2012 Reference case projection, with the industrial and electric power sectors each about 2 quadrillion Btu higher and the transportation sector about 3 quadrillion Btu higher. For the transportation sector, the difference appears to result from a higher number of light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the INFORUM results, which offsets slightly higher motor gasoline prices in the INFORUM projection. Vehicle efficiency is essentially the same in the INFORUM and AEO2012 projections. INFORUM also projects higher revenue passengermiles for air travel than AEO2012. Diesel prices are lower in the INFORUM projection, which leads to higher demand (about 1 quadrillion Btu) than in AEO2012. In the industrial sector, INFORUM projects industrial shipments in 2035 that are approximately 1.5 times the level of those in the AEO2012 Reference case, which helps to explain the higher level of industrial energy consumption in the INFORUM projection relative to AEO2012.

IHSGI projects significantly higher electricity consumption for all sectors than in the AEO2012 Reference case, which helps to explain much of the difference in total energy consumption between the two projections. In the IHSGI projection, the electric power sector consumes 13 quadrillion Btu more energy in 2035 than in the AEO2012 Reference case. The greater use of electricity in the IHSGI projection, including 300 trillion Btu used by electric vehicles, also results in higher electricity prices than in the AEO2012 Reference case.

Although there are differences in energy consumption by sector between the ExxonMobil and BP projections, in both cases total energy consumption declines from 2010 levels and is lower than in the AEO2012 Reference case. The difference appears to result primarily from the inclusion of a tax on CO2 emissions in both the ExxonMobil and BP projections, which is not considered in the AEO2012 projection. Energy consumption in the transportation sector declines from 2010 levels in both the ExxonMobil and BP projections, driven by policy changes and technology improvement; however, BP projects a much larger drop in transportation energy consumption, a total of 4 quadrillion Btu (or four times the decline in the ExxonMobil projection) between 2010 and 2030.

Although energy consumption in all sectors in the IEA projection is higher in 2035 than in 2010, energy consumption in the transportation and industrial sectors declines from 2020 to 2030, by less than 1 quadrillion Btu in each sector.

IEA projects little change for energy use in those two sectors from 2030 to 2035, with industrial energy consumption declining very slowly and transportation energy consumption increasing very slightly. IEA projects total energy consumption that is higher than BP in 2030 and higher than ExxonMobil in 2035 but considerably lower than in the AEO2012 Reference case.

4. Electricity

Table 25 compares summary results for the electric power sector from the AEO2012 Reference case with projections by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA), IHSGI, and INFORUM. In 2015, total electricity sales range from a low of 3,753 billion kilowatthours in the AEO2012 Reference case to a high of 4,173 billion kilowatthours in the IHSGI projection. IHSGI shows higher sales across all sectors in 2015 in comparison with the other projections. Total electricity sales in 2035 in the IHSGI projection (5,652 billion kilowatthours) are higher than in the others: 4,415 billion kilowatthours in the AEO2012 Reference case, 4,483 billion kilowatthours in the INFORUM projection, and 4,726 billion kilowatthours in the EVA projection. Although IHSGI projects higher electricity sales in all sectors in 2035, the largest percentage differences between the IHSGI and other projections are in the industrial sector. Electricity sales in the industrial sector in 2035 in the IHSGI projection are 1,387 billion kilowatthours, as compared with 977 billion kilowatthours in the AEO2012 Reference case, 941 billion kilowatthours in the EVA projection, and 968 billion kilowatthours in the INFORUM projection.

Only IHSGI and the AEO2012 Reference case provide average electricity price projections through 2035. Average electricity prices in the AEO2012 Reference case are 9.8 cents per kilowatthour in 2010 and 9.7 cents per kilowatthour in 2015 and 2025 before reaching 10.1 cents per kilowatthour in 2035. In the IHSGI projection, the average electricity price rises continuously (with the exception of a small decrease from 2017 to 2018), from 9.8 cents per kilowatthour in 2010 to 10.2 cents in 2015, 10.9 cents in 2025, and 12.1 cents per kilowatthour in 2035.

In all the projections, average electricity prices by sector follow patterns similar to changes in the weighted average electricity price across all sectors (including transportation services). The lowest prices by sector in 2015 are in the INFORUM projection (10.5 cents per kilowatthour in the residential sector, 9.3 cents per kilowatthour in the commercial sector, and 6.2 cents per kilowatthour in the industrial sector). The highest average electricity prices by sector in 2015 are in the EVA projection (12.8 cents per kilowatthour in the residential sector, 11.5 cents per kilowatthour in the commercial sector, and 7.9 cents per kilowatthour in the industrial sector).

In the AEO2012 Reference case, electricity prices for the residential sector are 11.8 cents per kilowatthour in both 2015 and 2035, electricity prices for the commercial sector increase from 9.9 cents per kilowatthour in 2015 to 10.1 cents per kilowatthour in 2035, and electricity prices for the industrial sector increase from 6.5 cents per kilowatthour in 2015 to 7.1 cents per kilowatthour in 2035. When compared with the AEO2012 Reference case prices in 2035, the largest difference is with the IHSGI projection. The IHSGI price projections are much higher than those in the AEO2012 Reference case. IHSGI shows real electricity prices rising to 14.3 cents per kilowatthour for the residential sector, 12.5 cents per kilowatthour for the commercial sector, and 8.1 cents per kilowatthour for the industrial sector in 2035.

Total electricity generation plus imports in 2015 ranges from a low of 4,053 billion kilowatthours in the EVA projection to a high of 4,611 billion kilowatthours in the IHSGI projection, compared with 4,181 billion kilowatthours in the AEO2012 Reference case. Although coal represents the largest share of generation in 2015 in all the projections, the natural gas share of total generation grows from 2015 to 2035 in all the projections, particularly IHSGI. In the IHSGI projection, coal has a 33-percent share of total generation in 2025, and the natural gas share is 32 percent. IHSGI shows natural gas overtaking coal as a share of total generation by 2035 as a result of the carbon tax assumed in the IHSGI projection and the need to replace existing units that are uneconomical or are being retired for various regulatory or environmental reasons. In 2035, the coal share in the IHSGI projection is 26 percent of total generation, and the natural gas share is 38 percent. In the AEO2012 Reference case, which does not include a carbon tax, the coal share also decreases but only to 38 percent of total generation, while the natural gas share increases to 28 percent.

Nuclear generation in 2015 ranges from a low of 827 billion kilowatthours in the EVA projection to a high of 839 billion kilowatthours in the IHSGI projection. From 2015 to 2025, EVA projects a 5-percent increase in nuclear generation, to 870 billion kilowatthours. IHSGI and AEO2012 project increases of 9 percent and 10 percent, respectively. In the IHSGI projection, nuclear generation totals 1,030 billion kilowatthours in 2035, a 12-percent increase from 2025. The AEO2012 Reference case shows nuclear generation declining to 887 billion kilowatthours in 2035, a 3-percent decrease from 2025, as units are retired when they reach the end of their useful generation lifetimes.

Total generating capacity by fuel in 2015 is relatively similar across the projections, ranging from 1,042 gigawatts in the AEO2012 Reference case to 1,101 gigawatts in the IHSGI projection, but IHSGI shows a much larger decrease in capacity in 2025. IHSGI projects more aggressive growth in total generating capacity, due to what appears to be a much higher demand projection. Natural gas and oil-fired capacity grows to 566 gigawatts in 2025 in the IHSGI projection, compared with 493 gigawatts in AEO2012 and 518 gigawatts in the EVA projections. Hydroelectric/other capacity grows to 312 gigawatts in 2025 in the IHSGI projection, higher than the 201 gigawatts in AEO2012. The faster growth in natural gas and hydroelectric/other capacity in the IHSGI projection continues through 2035. Natural gas and oil-fired capacity grows to 665 gigawatts in 2035, and hydroelectric/other capacity grows to 396 gigawatts in 2035 in the IHSGI projection. By comparison, natural gas and oil-fired capacity grows to 568 gigawatts and hydroelectric/other capacity grows to 226 gigawatts in the AEO2012 Reference case in 2035.

5. Natural gas

The projections of natural gas consumption, production, imports, and prices (Table 26) vary significantly as a result of differences in assumptions. For example, the AEO2012 Reference case assumes that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projection period (including the implication that laws which include sunset dates do, in fact, become ineffective at the time of those sunset dates), whereas the other projections may include anticipated policy developments over the next 25 years. In particular, the AEO2012 Reference case does not assume changes in CO2 emissions policies.

Each of the projections shows an increase in overall natural gas consumption from 2010 to 2035, with the IHSGI projection showing the largest increase, 39 percent. The ExxonMobil projection includes an increase of around 20 percent. The EVA projection shows an increase of 26 percent from 2010 to 2030 (EVA does not extend to 2035). Total natural gas consumption in the AEO2012, Deloitte, and SEER projections increases from 2010 to 2035, with total natural gas consumption growing from 4 to 31 percent. IHSGI shows the largest increase and INFORUM the smallest. The IHSGI projection for total natural gas consumption in 2035 is 36 percent higher than the INFORUM projection. In the AEO2012 Reference case, total natural gas consumption grows by 5 percent from 2015 to 2035.

The IHSGI and ExxonMobil projections for natural gas consumption by electricity generators are much higher than the other projections shown in Table 26. In 2035, natural gas consumption by electricity generators in the IHGSI projection is more than double the consumption projected by INFORUM, and the ExxonMobil projection is 77 percent higher than the INFORUM projection. The AEO2012 Reference case, SEER, and INFORUM projections show similar levels of natural gas consumption in the electricity generation sector in 2035, with average annual growth of 1 percent or less across the projection period, while consumption grows by an average of 3 percent in the ExxonMobil and IHSGI projections. The slower rate of growth in the AEO2012 Reference case reflects relatively slower growth in electricity consumption and faster growth in renewable energy consumption than in the other projections.

Industrial natural gas consumption is similar across the projections, but with more rapid growth projected by EVA, Deloitte, and INFORUM. Natural gas consumption increases by 23 percent from 2010 to 2030 in the EVA projection and by 23 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from 2010 to 2035 in the INFORUM and Deloitte projections. All of the growth in industrial natural gas consumption in the Deloitte and INFORUM projections is between 2010 and 2015. In the AEO2012 Reference case, in contrast, industrial natural gas consumption grows by 6 percent from 2010 to 2035. In the ExxonMobil projection, industrial natural gas consumption remains constant over the projection period; in the IHSGI projection industrial natural gas consumption falls from 2010 to 2035; and in the INFORUM, SEER, and Deloitte projections, after an initial increase, industrial natural gas consumption declines from 2015 to 2035.

The levels of commercial sector natural gas consumption are similar across the projections, but projections for the residential sector vary significantly [140]. Three of the seven projections (INFORUM, Deloitte, and EVA) show similar growth in residential consumption through 2030, and INFORUM and Deloitte are similar through 2035; however, the IHSGI and AEO2012 projections show larger declines in residential consumption of natural gas from 2010 to 2035 (11 percent and 6 percent, respectively). The SEER projection for residential natural gas consumption shows a decrease of 4 percent from 2015 to 2025, then a partial recovery by 2035.

With the exception of ExxonMobil, which shows a decline in U.S. production of domestic natural gas between 2030 and 2035, all the projections show increasing U.S. production of domestic natural gas over the projection period, although at different rates. The highest level of natural gas production is projected by IHSGI, exceeding the ExxonMobil projection by 21 percent in 2035. Coupled with a significant decline in net pipeline imports, SEER, INFORUM, and the AEO2012 Reference case project a strong increase in the share of total U.S. natural gas supply accounted for by domestic production. The other projections show relatively stable and similar percentages for the contribution of domestic natural gas production to total supply, with the exception of IHSGI, which shows a notable increase in net imports after 2015. In all the projections, with the exception of EVA, net LNG imports remain below the 2010 level of 0.4 trillion cubic feet throughout the projection period. In all the projections, however, net pipeline imports decline from 2010 levels, with AEO2012, SEER, and Deloitte projecting more severe declines than EVA (only through 2030 since EVA does not show 2035).

The AEO2012 Reference case and SEER show similar levels of natural gas production and Henry Hub spot prices, both with increasing production and prices over time. EVA shows similar levels of natural gas production as the AEO2012 Reference case through 2025, but higher Henry Hub spot prices. IHSGI projects a larger increase in natural gas production but at relatively stable prices. In 2015, the Henry Hub spot price in the IHSGI projection is 11 percent higher than the price in the SEER projection; however, the SEER Henry Hub spot price quickly surpasses the IHSGI price, and it is 50 percent higher in 2035. Deloitte, ExxonMobil, and INFORUM did not include price projections.

Only IHSGI and SEER included delivered natural gas prices that can be compared with those in the AEO2012 Reference case [141]. However, there appear to be definitional differences in the projections, based on an examination of 2010 price levels. In particular, the IHSGI industrial delivered natural gas price is difficult to compare. The industrial delivered natural gas price for 2010 in the IHSGI projection is $0.88 higher than the industrial price for 2010 in the AEO2012 Reference case and $1.13 higher than the 2010 industrial price in the SEER projection (all prices in 2010 dollars per thousand cubic feet). From 2010 to 2035, the delivered price for electricity generators increases by 7 percent in the IHSGI projection, by 40 percent in the AEO2012 Reference case, and by 86 percent in the SEER projection. The SEER projection also shows the largest increases in residential and commercial delivered prices, at 51 percent and 40 percent, respectively, over the same period. IHSGI shows the smallest increases in residential and commercial delivered prices over the projection period, at 4 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The AEO2012 Reference case projects a 26-percent increase in residential delivered natural gas prices and a 28-percent increase in commercial prices.

6. Liquid fuels

In the AEO2012 Reference case, the U.S. RAC for imported crude oil (in 2010 dollars) increases to $113.97 per barrel in 2015, $121.21 per barrel in 2025, and $132.95 per barrel in 2035 (Table 27). Prices are lower in the INFORUM projection, ranging from $91.78 per barrel in 2015 to $116.76 per barrel in 2035. BP, EVA, and Purvin & Gertz (P&G) did not report projections of RAC prices.

Domestic crude oil production increases from about 5.5 million barrels per day in 2010 to a peak of 6.7 million barrels per day in 2020, then declines to about 6.0 million barrels per day in 2035 in the AEO2012 Reference case. Overall, the production level in 2035 is more than 9 percent higher than the 2010 level. The INFORUM projection shows a steady increase in production, to 5.8 million barrels per day in 2035. Domestic crude oil production decreases to 3.2 million barrels per day in 2035 in the P&G projection.

Supply from renewable sources increases to about 1.1 million barrels per day in 2015, almost 1.5 million barrels per day in 2025 (38.5 percent higher than the 2015 level), and more than 2.3 million barrels per day in 2035 (120.2 percent higher than the 2015 level) in the AEO2012 Reference case. In the BP projection, supplies from renewable sources, on an energy-equivalent basis, increase by 49.5 percent from 2015 to 2025. BP does not report supplies from renewable sources in 2035, and it is not included in the projections by EVA, INFORUM, and P&G.

Prices for both transportation diesel fuel and gasoline increase through 2035 in the AEO2012 projection, with diesel prices higher than gasoline prices. INFORUM projects rising gasoline prices from 2015 levels but decreasing diesel prices, with the gasoline price consistently higher than the diesel price. The BP, EVA, and P&G projections do not include delivered fuel prices.

7. Coal

Projections from EVA, IHSGI, INFORUM, IEA, ExxonMobil, and BP offer some opportunity to compare other coal outlooks with the AEO2012 Reference case. Although many of the assumptions used in the other projections are unknown, ExxonMobil does assume a carbon tax, and EVA assumes some additional regulations affecting coal use that are not included in current laws. Such assumptions probably contribute to lower coal consumption levels compared with historical levels and the AEO2012 Reference case. BP, EVA, ExxonMobil, and IHSGI have the most pessimistic views of coal use, with consumption declining over their respective projection horizons. In contrast, both the AEO2012 and INFORUM projections show rising coal consumption after an initial decline. INFORUM's projection for coal consumption in 2035 is the highest—12 percent higher than in the AEO2012 Reference case (Table 28).

Because most coal consumed in the United States is used for electricity generation, the outlooks with the largest declines in total coal consumption also show similar declines in coal use for electric power generation. The AEO2012 Reference case has the most pessimistic outlook for coal consumption in the power sector in 2015; however, while coal use in the electric power sector recovers after 2015 in the AEO2012 Reference case, it continues to decline in the EVA, IHSGI, ExxonMobil, and BP projections. ExxonMobil—which includes a carbon tax—shows the largest decline in coal use for electricity generation compared with the other projections, and coal consumption in the BP outlook also declines from 2010 levels. The EVA projection for coal consumption in the electric power sector in 2030 is 13 percent lower than the 2010 level, whereas coal consumption returns to 2010 levels in 2030 in the AEO2012 Reference case. The IEA projection for coal consumption in the electric power sector in 2035, at 19.2 quadrillion Btu, is similar to the AEO2012 Reference case projection.

EVA, IHSGI, and the AEO2012 Reference case all project declining use of coal at coking plants through 2030, with EVA including the most pessimistic outlook. INFORUM's industrial coal consumption figure, which appears to include both coking coal consumption and coal use at industrial steam plants, is higher than projected in the AEO2012 Reference case. EVA and IHSGI show declines in coal use in the industrial/buildings sector (excluding the coking sector), whereas the AEO2012 outlook is more stable. According to ExxonMobil's projection, coal is consumed only for electricity generation after 2015, as implied consumption in all other sectors drops to zero. The AEO2012 Reference case appears to be the only projection that includes coal use in CTL production.

Only EVA provides regional production information for comparison with the AEO2012 Reference case. Despite much lower total coal consumption than in AEO2012, EVA's estimate of coal production east of the Mississippi is similar to that in the AEO2012 Reference case. The differences in coal production are primarily in basins west of the Mississippi, where AEO2012 projects 161 million more tons of coal production in 2030 than projected by EVA.

With respect to exports, two broad consensus groups are identifiable among the projections. The most optimistic projections are EVA and AEO2012, which show exports remaining above 100 million tons through 2030. However, EVA and AEO2012 do differ, in that the AEO2012 Reference case projects stronger growth for coking coal exports, and EVA projects stronger growth for thermal coal exports. The second group of projections, including BP, INFORUM, and IHSGI, shows a less optimistic outlook for U.S. coal exports. Coal exports in 2030 in the AEO2012 Reference case are 1.0 quadrillion Btu higher than projected by BP. If BP's average heat rate for exports is assumed to be similar to that in AEO2012, BP's projected coal exports in 2030 are about 70 million tons, similar to the INFORUM and IHSGI projections for the same year. IHSGI's projection of exports is the lowest of this group, peaking in 2025 and then falling to 63 million tons in 2035.

The outlook for coal imports varies considerably across the projections, with little consensus. In the EVA projection, imports drop to a negligible 4 million tons early on and remain at that level for the balance of the projection; and in the BP projection, there are no coal imports to the United States after 2015. In the IHSGI projection, coal imports vary little through 2035. In 2035, coal imports in the AEO2012 Reference case are just over one-half those in the INFORUM outlook.

Coal price comparisons can be made only for the AEO2012, IHSGI, and INFORUM projections. AEO2012 includes the highest minemouth coal prices, which rise by 42 percent from 2010 to 2035. IHSGI and the AEO2012 Reference case do project similar delivered coal prices to the electricity sector through 2020, but after 2020 IHSGI's prices change little, whereas prices in the AEO2012 Reference case continue to rise. The difference may indicate that IHSGI's more pessimistic coal consumption outlook has less to do with high coal prices than with other factors. Similarly, INFORUM's delivered coal price to the electricity sector falls and then remains constant at around 2015 levels through 2035, lower than the price in 2010.

Endnotes for Comparison with other projections

140 ExxonMobil's projection for residential consumption includes commercial consumption.

141 SEER's prices include a carbon tax.