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International Energy Outlook 2013

Release Date: July 25, 2013   |  Next Release Date: July 2014   |  correction |  Report Number: DOE/EIA-0484(2013)

Comparisons with IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook 2012 provides projections comparable with those in IEO2013. In both reports, 2010 is the latest year of historical data on which the projections are based. Although the IEO2013 projections now extend to 2040, IEA projections extend only to 2035. As a result, two time periods can be compared—2010 to 2020 and 2020 to 2035.

IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012 presents three scenario cases: New Policies Scenario (the report's "central scenario"), Current Policies Scenario, and 450 Scenario. Much of the text of the IEA report concentrates on the New Policies Scenario, which "takes into account broad policy commitments and plans that have already been implemented to address energy-related challenges . . . even when specific measures to implement these commitments have yet to be introduced."48 In contrast, the IEA Current Policies Scenario incorporates only "those government policies and measures that had been enacted or adopted by mid-2012." The IEO2013 Reference case is most directly comparable with the IEA Current Policies Scenario, which is used here for comparison purposes.

Although world oil price assumptions in 2011 and 2035 are similar in the IEA Current Policies Scenario and the IEO2013 Reference case, the two outlooks have much different expectations for prices in the intervening years. In the IEO2013 Reference case, Brent crude oil prices decline from $111 per barrel in 2011 to $96 per barrel in 2015 (all prices in real 2011 dollars per barrel). Thereafter, oil prices in the IEO2013 Reference case continue rising to $145 per barrel in 2035. In the IEA Current Policies Scenario, crude oil import prices increase from $108 per barrel in 2011 to $121 per barrel in 2015, decline to $118 per barrel in 2025, and then increase to $145 in 2035. Despite the differences in mid-term price assumptions, demand for liquid fuels in 2020 is similar in the two outlooks. Liquids demand in the IEA Current Policies Scenario is 98 million barrels per day in 2020, compared with 97 million barrels per day in the IEO2013 Reference case. Prices begin to increase more rapidly after 2020 in the IEO2013 Reference case than in the IEA Current Policies Scenario. As a result, demand for petroleum and other liquid fuels in 2035 in the IEO2013 Reference case is 109 million barrels per day, compared with 112 million barrels per day in the IEA Current Policies Scenario.

For the period from 2010 to 2020, world energy consumption increases by 1.9 percent per year in both the IEA Current Policies Scenario and the IEO2013 Reference case (Table K1). The two outlooks have similar projections for growth in total OECD energy consumption—0.4 percent per year in the IEA Current Policies Scenario and 0.5 percent per year in the IEO2013 Reference case. There are some differences in the projections for OECD regions, however, with the IEO2013 Reference case projecting slightly slower growth than the IEA Current Policies Scenario for the OECD Americas, but twice as rapid growth for OECD Europe and OECD Asia, from 2010 to 2020.

For the entire group of non-OECD countries, the IEA projections for total energy consumption are the same as those in the IEO2013 Reference case, with demand growth averaging 2.9
percent per year from 2010 to 2020. On a regional basis, however, there are fairly wide variations between the IEA and IEO2013 reports in the near term. Projected growth rates in the IEA report exceed those in IEO2013 for India and the other countries of non-OECD Asia (excluding China), non-OECD Africa, and non-OECD Central and South America. For India, IEA projects annual increases in energy consumption averaging 3.9 percent per year from 2010 to 2020, whereas IEO2013 projects average increases of 2.8 percent per year. For the other non-OECD Asia nations (excluding China and India), IEA projects a 2.8-percent average annual increase in total energy use, compared with 1.6 percent in IEO2013. For Africa, IEA projects average increases in total energy demand of 1.9 percent per year from 2010 to 2020, compared with 1.5 percent per year in the IEO2013 Reference case. For non-OECD Central and South America, IEA and IEO2013 project average annual increases of 2.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. China is the only non-OECD region for which projected growth in energy consumption from 2010 to 2020 in the IEO2013 Reference case exceeds that in the IEA Current Policies Scenario projection, at 4.6 percent per year and 3.8 percent per year, respectively.

For the period from 2020 to 2035, both the IEO2013 Reference case and the IEA Current Policies Scenario project slowing growth in world energy demand. In the IEO2013 Reference case, world energy consumption rises by an average of 1.4 percent per year from 2020 to 2035, compared with 1.3 percent per year in the IEA Current Policies Scenario (Table K2). Among the OECD regions, demand growth is similar in the IEO2013 and IEA projections, although IEO2013 projects slightly higher anticipated growth for all OECD regions. In both projections, U.S. energy consumption grows by an average of 0.2 percent per year.

For total non-OECD energy consumption, the IEO2013 Reference case and the IEA Current Policies Scenario project similar overall growth rates in energy demand from 2020 to 2035. However, four non-OECD regions show relatively large differences. For China and Africa, IEO2013 projects a higher growth rate than in the IEA projection, and for India and the Middle East, IEO2013 projects a lower growth rate than in the IEA projection. In the IEO2013 Reference case, China's energy consumption growth averages 2.0 percent per year, and Africa's energy consumption growth averages 2.3 percent per year from 2020 to 2035; in IEA's Current Policies Scenario, the average growth rates for energy demand in the two regions are 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent per year, respectively. The relatively large difference between the two projections for energy demand growth in Africa reflect different assumptions about the region's economic growth rate over the 2020-2035 period: 4.6 percent per year on average in the IEO2013 Reference case, as compared with 3.8 percent in the IEA Current Policies Scenario.

The projections vary not only with respect to levels of energy demand but also with respect to the mix of primary energy inputs. For the 2010-2020 period, IEA projects faster growth in the use of coal and natural gas and slower growth in the use of nuclear and renewable energy sources than does IEO2013 (Table K3). The IEA projection shows world coal consumption increasing by an annual average of 2.4 percent from 2010 to 2020, compared with 2.0 percent in the IEO2013 Reference case. World natural gas consumption in the IEA Current Policies Scenario increases by 2.0 percent per year between 2010 and 2020, compared with 1.5 percent per year in IEO2013.

In the IEO2013 Reference case, growth in renewable energy use from 2010 to 2020 averages 3.7 percent per year, compared with 2.3 percent per year in the IEA Current Policies Scenario (adjusted for this comparison by removing biofuels from total renewables and reporting them as liquid fuels, consistent with EIA's treatment of biofuels). The differences are, in large part, a result of IEA's inclusion of traditional, nonmarketed biomass in its renewable energy projections, whereas the IEO2013 projections do not include consumption of nonmarketed renewable fuels, which is not likely to expand significantly, because developing countries tend to move away from traditional fuels to commercial fuels as their energy infrastructures and standards of living increase. Still, consumption of traditional fuels in some developing countries is estimated to be quite large, with effects on total renewable energy use that would tend to mask any growth in the consumption of energy from marketed, commercial renewable sources— particularly, wind and other nonhydroelectric renewables.

The IEA Current Policies Scenario projections for nuclear power generally are more conservative than those in the IEO Reference case. In the IEA projection, world nuclear power consumption increases by an average of 2.1 percent per year from 2010 to 2020, compared with 3.3 percent per year in the IEO2013 Reference case. Slower growth in nuclear power is offset by IEA's higher growth projections for coal and natural gas consumption. The difference between the IEA and IEO2013 projections for nuclear energy can be explained in part by different expectations for the OECD region, which accounted for 83 percent of the world's total nuclear power use in 2010. The IEA Current Policies Scenario assumes that both Japan and OECD Europe will experience declines in nuclear power consumption from 2010 to 2020 following the Fukushima disaster, with Japan’s nuclear power consumption decreasing on average by 1.9 percent per year and OECD Europe's by 1.1 percent per year. IEO2013 projects a steeper decline in Japan's nuclear power consumption in the short term, averaging 3.9 percent per year, with the country's nuclear power plants being brought back into operation slowly over the period, but does not anticipate a decline in OECD Europe's nuclear power consumption, which increases by an average of 0.7 percent per year from 2010 to 2020.

Similar to the OECD nuclear projections, IEO2013 also projects higher growth in non-OECD nuclear power demand than does the IEA Current Policies Scenario over the 2010-2020 period. In the IEO2013 Reference case, the average annual growth rate for non-OECD nuclear power generation is more than 2 percentage points higher than in the IEA projection, at 11.1 percent per year as compared with 8.9 percent per year in the IEA Current Policies Scenario. The IEO2013 projections for nuclear power growth are higher than the IEA projections for every non-OECD region. Both outlooks acknowledge the increased uncertainty in their projections for nuclear power relative to earlier projections.

For the period from 2020 to 2035, the most noticeable differences between the IEO2013 Reference case and IEA projections are again for nuclear power and renewable energy sources (Table K4). In the IEA projection, the average annual growth rate for world nuclear electricity consumption slows from 2.1 percent in the 2010-2020 period to 0.9 percent in the 2020-2035 period; IEO2013 projects average annual increases of 3.3 percent from 2010 to 2020 and 2.3 percent from 2020 to 2035. In the IEA Current Policies Scenario, renewable energy use increases by 2.3 percent per year over the 2010-2020 period and by 1.4 percent per year from 2020 to 2035; in the IEO2013 Reference case, renewable energy use increases by 3.7 percent per year from 2010 to 2020 and 2.0 percent per year from 2020 to 2035.

Comparisons with IEO2011

The IEO2011 projections extended only to 2035, and as a result, comparisons with the IEO2013 projections are made for the years 2020 and 2035. The IEO2013 Reference case projection for total energy consumption in 2020 is 10 quadrillion Btu (about 2 percent) higher than projected in IEO2011. Total marketed energy consumption in 2020 in the IEO2013 Reference case is 630 quadrillion Btu, as compared with 619 quadrillion Btu in IEO2011 (Table K5). The largest regional difference between the two outlooks is for China: IEO2013 projects 18 quadrillion Btu (about 13 percent) higher energy demand for China in 2020 than was projected in IEO2011. The IEO2013 projection for OECD energy consumption is 6 quadrillion Btu (about 2 percent) lower than the IEO2011 projection, with nearly all of the difference attributable to the OECD Americas and, primarily, the United States.

The near-term differences between the IEO2013 and IEO2011 projections are continued throughout the projection. The IEO2013 projection for total world energy use in 2035 is 7 quadrillion Btu (about 1 percent) higher than projected in IEO2011. Again, higher demand in China is offset by lower demand in the OECD Americas (mainly the United States), explaining much of the difference between the two outlooks. China's total energy consumption in 2035 is 22 quadrillion Btu (11 percent) higher in IEO2013 than it was in IEO2011. In contrast, projected energy consumption in the OECD Americas is 11 quadrillion Btu (4 percent) higher in IEO2013 than in IEO2011. There are modest differences in other regions, but for the most part the 2035 projections for marketed energy use outside of China and the OECD Americas are similar in IEO2013 and IEO2011.

Along with regional differences between the IEO2013 and IEO2011 projections, there are some differences in the projected mix of energy resources consumed (Table K6). The largest difference is in the 2020 projection for world coal consumption, which in the IEO2013 Reference case is 16 quadrillion Btu higher than projected in IEO2011. In 2020, demand for every type of energy is lower in IEO2013 than in IEO2011, reflecting increased demand for coal in China. In 2035, demand for all energy sources is higher in IEO2013 than in IEO2011 for all energy sources except liquid fuels and renewable energy sources. The largest increase relative to IEO2011 is for coal consumption in China, which in 2035 is nearly 10 quadrillion Btu (about 8 percent) higher in IEO2013. A downward revision in U.S. liquids consumption helps to offset the increase in China's coal use. U.S. liquids consumption in 2035 is about 6 quadrillion Btu (15 percent) lower in IEO2013, mostly as a result of vehicle efficiency gains.