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Annual Energy Outlook 2012

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

Annual Energy Outlook 2012

presents yearly projections and
analysis of energy topics

Download the complete June 2012
published report.

Executive summary

The projections in the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) focus on the factors that shape the U.S. energy system over the long term. Under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged throughout the projections, the AEO2012 Reference case provides the basis for examination and discussion of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies. But AEO2012 is not limited to the Reference case. It also includes 29 alternative cases (see Appendix E, Table E1), which explore important areas of uncertainty for markets, technologies, and policies in the U.S. energy economy. Many of the implications of the alternative cases are discussed in the "Issues in focus" section of this report.

Updated AEO2012 Reference case (June 2012)

The Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Reference case included as part of this complete report, released in June 2012, was updated from the Reference case released as part of the AEO2012 Early Release Overview in January 2012. The Reference case was updated to incorporate modeling changes and reflect new legislation or regulation that was not available when the Early Release Overview version of the Reference case was published. Major changes made in the Reference include:

  • The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) issued by the EPA in December 2011 was incorporated.
  • The long-term macroeconomic projection was revised, based on the November 2011 long-term projection from IHS Global Insights, Inc.
  • The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which was included in the Early Release Reference case, was kept in the final Reference case. In December 2011, a District Court delayed the rule from going into effect while in litigation.
  • The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) was removed from the final Reference case, given the Federal court ruling in December 2011 that found some aspects of it to be unconstitutional.
  • Historical data and equations for the transportation sector were revised to reflect revised data from NHTSA and FHWA.
  • A new cement model was incorporated in the industrial sector.
  • Photovoltaic capacity estimates for recent historical years (2009 and 2010) were updated to line up more closely with Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) reports.
  • Gulf of Mexico production data were revised downward to reflect data reported by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management more closely.
  • Data in the electricity model were revised to reflect 2009 electric utility financial data (electric utility plant in service, operations and maintenance costs, etc.) and refine the breakdown of associated costs between the generation, transmission, and distribution components.
  • Higher capital costs for fabric filters were adopted in the analysis of MATS, based on EPA data.
  • Reservoir-level oil data were updated to improve the API gravity and sulfur content data elements.
  • The assumed volume of natural gas used at export liquefaction facilities was revised.

Future analyses using the AEO2012 Reference case will start from the version of the Reference case released with this complete report.


Analysis - By Topic

Energy Sources
Natural Gas


Energy Demand

Other Topics

By Publication Chapter

Executive Summary
Market Trends
Issues in Focus
Legislation & Regulations
Comparison with Other Projections
Appendix F (Regional Definitions and Maps)

Reference Case Tables

Interactive Table Viewer ›
Provides custom data views of the AEO2012 Reference case and as compared to the AEO2011 Reference case. All available cases can be charted and the data for them downloaded.