U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
International Energy Outlook 2013
The International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. Total world energy use rises from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010 to 630 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and to 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040 (Figure 1). Much of the growth in energy consumption occurs in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),2 known as non-OECD, where demand is driven by strong, long-term economic growth. Energy use in non-OECD countries increases by 90 percent; in OECD countries, the increase is 17 percent. The IEO2013 Reference case does not incorporate prospective legislation or policies that might affect energy markets.
Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world's fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5 percent per year. However, fossil fuels continue to supply almost 80 percent of world energy use through 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the outlook. Global natural gas consumption increases by 1.7 percent per year. Increasing supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane support growth in projected worldwide natural gas use. Coal use grows faster than petroleum and other liquid fuel use until after 2030, mostly because of increases in China's consumption of coal and tepid growth in liquids demand attributed to slow growth in the OECD regions and high sustained oil prices.
The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption; the world industrial sector still consumes over half of global delivered energy in 2040. Given current policies and regulations limiting fossil fuel use, worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from about 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020 and then to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46-percent increase.
World economic background
The world is still recovering from the effects of the 2008-2009 global recession.3 As these effects continue to be felt, many unresolved economic issues add to the uncertainty associated with this year's long-term assessment of world energy markets. Currently, there is wide variation in the economic performance of different countries and regions around the world. Among the more mature OECD regions, the pace of growth varies but generally is slow in comparison with the emerging economies of the non-OECD regions. In the United States and Europe, short- and long-term debt issues remain largely unresolved and are key sources of uncertainty for future growth. Economic recovery in the United States has been weaker than the recoveries from past recessions, although expansion is continuing. In contrast, many European countries fell back into recession in 2012, and the region's economic performance has continued to lag. Japan, whose economy had been sluggish before the devastating earthquake in March 2011, is recovering from its third recession in 3 years. Questions about the timing and extent of a return to operation for Japan's nuclear power generators compound the uncertainty surrounding its energy outlook.
In contrast to the OECD nations, developing non-OECD economies, particularly in non-OECD Asia, have led the global recovery from the 2008-2009 recession. China and India have been among the world's fastest growing economies for the past two decades. From 1990 to 2010, China's economy grew by an average of 10.4 percent per year and India's by 6.4 percent per year. Although economic growth in the two countries remained strong through the global recession, both slowed in 2012 to rates much lower than analysts had predicted at the start of the year. In 2012, real GDP in China increased by 7.2 percent, its lowest annual growth rate in 20 years. India's real GDP growth slowed to 5.5 percent in 2012.
The world's real gross domestic product (GDP, expressed in purchasing power parity terms) rises by an average of 3.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2040. The fastest rates of growth are projected for the emerging, non-OECD regions, where combined GDP increases by 4.7 percent per year. In the OECD regions, GDP grows at a much slower rate of 2.1 percent per year over the projection, owing to more mature economies and slow or declining population growth trends. The strong growth in non- OECD GDP drives the fast-paced growth in future energy consumption projected for these nations.
In addition to concerns about the pace of world economic growth, other events have added further uncertainty to this year's energy outlook. Political unrest in several North African and Middle Eastern nations has persisted, most notably in Syria, but elsewhere as well. A number of the countries that experienced political transition as a result of the Arab Spring revolutions, including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, have struggled to establish stability. In addition, the sanctions imposed on Iran as a result of its nuclear program have dampened the country's growth outlook. Unrest in the Middle East has been one reason that oil prices have been in the range of $90 to $130 per barrel4 well into 2013. The Brent crude oil spot price averaged $112 per barrel in 2012, and EIA's July 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook projects averages of $105 per barrel in 2013 and $100 per barrel in 2014. With prices expected to increase in the long term, the world oil price in real 2011 dollars reaches $106 per barrel in 2020 and $163 per barrel in 2040 in the IEO2013 Reference case.
High sustained oil prices can affect consumer demand for liquid fuels, encouraging the use of less energy or alternative forms of energy, but also encouraging more efficient use of energy. Energy efficiency improvements are anticipated in every end-use sector, with global liquids intensity—liquid fuels consumed per dollar of GDP—declining (improving) by 2.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2040. However, some of the greatest potential for altering the growth path of energy use is in the transportation sector. The U.S. transportation sector provides a good example of this potential to change future liquids consumption. More stringent U.S. vehicle fuel economy standards offset growth in transportation activity, resulting in a decline in the country's use of petroleum and other liquids over the projection. Improving vehicle fuel economy standards will likely be adopted throughout most of the world, helping to moderate future growth in liquids consumption.
World energy markets by fuel type
In the long term, the IEO2013 Reference case projects increased world consumption of marketed energy from all fuel sources through 2040 (Figure 2). Fossil fuels are expected to continue supplying much of the energy used worldwide. Although liquid fuels—mostly petroleum-based—remain the largest source of energy, the liquids share of world marketed energy consumption falls from 34 percent in 2010 to 28 percent in 2040, as projected high world oil prices lead many energy users to switch away from liquid fuels when feasible. The fastest growing sources of world energy in the Reference case are renewables and nuclear power. In the Reference case, the renewables share of total energy use rises from 11 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2040, and the nuclear share grows from 5 percent to 7 percent.
World use of petroleum and other liquid fuels5grows from 87 million barrels per day in 2010 to 97 million barrels per day in 2020 and 115 million barrels per day in 2040. In the Reference case, all the growth in liquids use is in the transportation and industrial sectors. In the transportation sector, in particular, liquid fuels continue to provide most of the energy consumed. Although advances in nonliquids-based transportation technologies are anticipated, they are not enough to offset the rising demand for transportation services worldwide. Despite rising fuel prices, use of liquids for transportation increases by an average of 1.1 percent per year, or 38 percent overall, from 2010 to 2040. The transportation sector accounts for 63 percent of the total increase in liquid fuel use from 2010 to 2040, and the remainder is attributed to the industrial sector, where the chemicals industry continues to consume large quantities of petroleum throughout the projection. The use of liquids declines in the other end-use sectors and for electric power generation.
To satisfy the increase in world liquids demand in the Reference case, liquids production increases by 28.3 million barrels per day from 2010 to 2040, including the production of both petroleum (crude oil and lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids [NGPL], bitumen, extra-heavy oil, and refinery gains), and other liquid fuels (coal-to-liquids [CTL], gas-to-liquids [GTL], biofuels, and kerogen). The Reference case assumes that countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will invest in incremental production capacity in order to maintain a 39-43 percent share of total world liquids production through 2040, consistent with their share over the past 15 years. Increasing volumes of petroleum from OPEC producers contribute 13.8 million barrels per day to the total increase in world liquids production, and petroleum supplies from non-OPEC countries add another 11.5 million barrels per day (Figure 3).
Nonpetroleum liquids resources from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources grow on average by 3.7 percent per year over the projection period, but they remain a relatively minor share of total liquids supply through 2040. Production of nonpetroleum liquids is supported by sustained high prices in the Reference case; however, their development also relies heavily on country-specific regulatory policies. World production of nonpetroleum liquids, which in 2010 totaled only 1.6 million barrels per day (less than 2 percent of total world liquids production), increases to 4.6 million barrels per day in 2040, about 4 percent of total world liquids production. The largest components of future nonpetroleum liquid fuels production are biofuels in Brazil and the United States, at 0.7 and 0.5 million barrels per day, respectively, and CTL in China, at 0.7 million barrels per day. Those three countries account for 64 percent of the total increase in nonpetroleum liquids supply over the projection period.
Advances in technology make liquids production in previously inaccessible regions increasingly feasible, while higher oil prices make production in those regions economically viable. An important example of the potential impact of technological advances is the rapid growth of U.S. shale oil production in recent years, a development that has the potential to change the structure of oil markets worldwide. Although the extent of the world's shale oil resources is not yet fully understood, there is potential for shale oil production to increase non-OPEC supplies of liquid fuels substantially over the course of the IEO2013 projection. A study commissioned by EIA to assess shale oil resources in 41 countries outside the United States,6 taken in conjunction with EIA's own assessment of resources within the United States, indicate worldwide technically recoverable resources of 345 billion barrels of shale oil resources, which would add considerable non-OPEC liquid fuels production potential if the resources became economically competitive with other sources of liquids supply.
World natural gas consumption increases by 64 percent in the Reference case, from 113 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to 185 trillion
cubic feet in 2040. Although the global recession resulted in an estimated decline of 3.6 trillion cubic feet in natural gas use
in 2009, robust demand returned in 2010 with an increase of 7.7 trillion cubic feet, or 4 percent higher than demand in 2008,
before the downturn. Natural gas continues to be the fuel of choice for the electric power and industrial sectors in many of the world's regions, in part because of its lower carbon intensity compared with coal and oil, which makes it an attractive fuel source in countries where governments are implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it is an attractive alternative fuel for new power generation plants because of relatively low capital costs and the favorable heat rates for natural gas generation. The industrial and electric power sectors together account for 77 percent of the total projected world increase in natural gas consumption.
An outlook for strong growth in reserves and production contributes to the strong competitive position of natural gas among other energy sources. Significant changes in natural gas supplies and global markets continue. The largest production increases from 2010 to 2040 in the Reference case (Figure 4) occur in non-OECD Europe and Eurasia (18.9 trillion cubic feet), the OECD Americas (15.9 trillion cubic feet), and the Middle East (15.6 trillion cubic feet). The United States and Russia each increase natural gas production by around 12 trillion cubic feet, together accounting for nearly one-third of the total increase in world gas production. Russia's production growth is supported mainly by increasing exploitation of the country's resources in the Arctic and eastern parts of the country. U.S. production growth comes mainly from shale resources.
Although there is more to learn about the extent of the world's tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane resource base, the
IEO2013 Reference case projects a substantial increase in those supplies—especially in the United States, Canada, and China.
In the United States, one of the keys to increasing natural gas production has been advances in the application of horizontal
drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, which made it possible to develop the country's vast shale gas resources and contributed to a near doubling of total U.S. technically recoverable natural gas resource estimates over the past decade. In the Reference case, shale gas accounts for 50 percent of U.S. natural gas production in 2040. Tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane resources in Canada and China account for more than 80 percent of their total domestic production in 2040 in the Reference case.
World natural gas trade, both by pipeline and by shipment in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is poised to increase in the future. LNG accounts for a growing share of world natural gas trade in the Reference case, more than doubling from about 10 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to around 20 trillion cubic feet in 2040. Most of the increase in liquefaction capacity is in Australia and North America (the United States and Canada), where a multitude of new liquefaction projects are expected to be developed, many of which will become operational within the next decade. At the same time, existing facilities in North Africa and Southeast Asia have been underutilized or are shutting down as a result of production declines at older fields associated with the liquefaction facilities, and because domestic natural gas consumption is more highly valued than exports.
Although LNG trade has grown at a faster rate than pipeline trade in recent years, pipeline transportation of natural gas remains
an integral part of world natural gas trade in the IEO2013 Reference case. The outlook includes several new long-distance
pipelines and expansions of existing infrastructure through 2040. The largest volumes of internationally traded natural gas by
pipeline currently occur between Canada and the United States, and among a number of OECD and non-OECD countries in Europe. By the end of the projection period, the IEO2013 Reference case also includes large volumes of pipeline flows into China from both Russia and Central Asia.
In the IEO2013 Reference case, which does not include prospective greenhouse gas reduction policies, coal remains the second-largest energy source worldwide. World coal consumption rises at an average rate of 1.3 percent per year, from 147 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and 220 quadrillion Btu in 2040. The near-term expansion of coal consumption reflects significant increases in China, India, and other non-OECD countries. In the longer term, growth of coal consumption decelerates as policies and regulations encourage the use of cleaner energy sources, natural gas becomes more economically competitive as a result of shale gas development, and growth of industrial use of coal slows, largely as a result of China's industrial activities. Coal consumption is dominated by China (47 percent), the United States (14 percent), and India (9 percent), with those three countries together accounting for 70 percent of total world coal consumption in 2010. Their share of world coal use increases to 75 percent in 2040 in the Reference case (Figure 5).
Despite the significant increase in coal use in developing non-OECD countries, the environmental impacts of mining and burning coal have driven policies and investment decisions in favor of cleaner and increasingly competitive energy sources—natural gas in particular. As a result, coal's share of world energy consumption stops growing in the next decade and gradually declines after 2025. Consumption of all other energy sources (except liquids) grows faster than coal use, particularly in the power sector. For example, the coal-fired share of world electricity generation declines from 40 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2040, while the renewables share increases from 21 percent to 25 percent, the natural gas share from 22 percent to 24 percent, and the nuclear share from 13 percent to 14 percent.
World coal production parallels demand, increasing from 8 billion short tons in 2010 to 11.5 billion short tons in 2040 and reflecting the same expansion in the near term, followed by much slower growth in later years. Global coal production is concentrated among four countries—China, the United States, India, and Australia—and in the other countries of non-OECD Asia (mainly Indonesia). Their combined share of total world coal production increases in the IEO2013 Reference case from 78 percent in 2010 to 81 percent in 2040. China alone accounted for 44 percent of global coal production in 2010, and its share peaks at 52 percent in 2030. Projected coal production is significantly different from region to region, ranging from sustained growth in China to limited growth in the United States to steady decline in OECD Europe.
World net electricity generation increases by 93 percent in the IEO2013 Reference case, from 20.2 trillion kilowatthours in 2010 to 39.0 trillion kilowatthours in 2040. In general, the growth of electricity demand in the OECD countries, where electricity markets are well established and consumption patterns are mature, is slower than in the non-OECD countries, where at present many people do not have access to electricity. Total net electricity generation in non-OECD countries increases by an average of 3.1 percent per year in the Reference case, led by non-OECD Asia (including China and India), where annual increases average 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2040. In contrast, total net generation in the OECD nations grows by an average of 1.1 percent per year from 2010 to 2040.
In many parts of the world, concerns about security of energy supplies and the environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions have spurred government policies that support a projected increase in renewable energy sources. As a result, renewable energy sources are the fastest growing sources of electricity generation in the IEO2013 Reference case, at 2.8 percent per year from 2010 to 2040. After renewable generation, natural gas and nuclear power are the next fastest growing sources of generation, each increasing by 2.5 percent per year. Although coal-fired generation increases by an annual average of only 1.8 percent over the projection period, it remains the largest source of world power generation through 2040 (Figure 6). The outlook for coal, however, could be altered substantially by any future national policies or international agreements aimed at reducing or limiting the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.
Almost 80 percent of the projected increase in renewable electricity generation is fueled by hydropower and wind power. The contribution of wind energy, in particular, has grown rapidly over the past decade, from 18 gigawatts of net installed capacity at the end of 2000 to 183 gigawatts at the end of 2010—a trend that continues into the future. Of the 5.4 trillion kilowatthours of new renewable generation added over the projection period, 2.8 trillion kilowatthours (52 percent) is attributed to hydroelectric power and 1.5 trillion kilowatthours (28 percent) to wind. Most of the growth in hydroelectric generation (82 percent) occurs in the non-OECD countries, and more than half of the growth in wind generation (52 percent) occurs in the OECD countries. High construction costs can make the total cost of building and operating renewable generators higher than those for conventional plants. The intermittence of wind and solar energy, in particular, can further hinder the economic competitiveness of those resources, as they are not necessarily available when they would be of greatest value to the system. However, improving battery storage technology and dispersing wind and solar generating facilities over wide geographic areas could help to mitigate some of the problems associated with intermittency over the projection period.
Electricity generation from nuclear power worldwide increases from 2,620 billion kilowatthours in 2010 to 5,492 billion
kilowatthours in 2040 in the IEO2013 Reference case, as concerns about energy security and greenhouse gas emissions support
the development of new nuclear generating capacity. Factors underlying the IEO2013 nuclear power projections include the
consequences of the March 2011 disaster at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan; planned retirements of nuclear capacity in OECD Europe under current policies; and continued strong growth of
nuclear power in non-OECD Asia.
Japan significantly curtailed its nuclear generation as a direct result of the Tōhoku earthquake and related tsunami on March 11, 2011. In addition to the four damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors, Japan's 50 other nuclear reactors were shut down over the following 14 months. Japan compensated for the loss of nuclear generation by increasing its generation from natural gas, oil, and coal and by implementing efficiency and conservation measures to reduce load. Two reactors have returned to service, and additional reactors are expected to return to service soon. In the IEO2013 Reference case, fossil fuel generation and conservation continue to bridge the gap left by the shutdown of many of Japan's nuclear plants.
The Fukushima Daiichi disaster could have long-term implications for the future of world nuclear power development in general. Even China—where large increases in nuclear capacity have been announced and are anticipated in the IEO2013 Reference case—halted approval processes for all new reactors until the country's nuclear regulator completed a safety review. Germany and Switzerland announced plans to phase out or shut down their operating reactors by 2022 and 2034, respectively. Although the IEO2013 Reference case considered the impacts of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi, the uncertainty associated with nuclear power projections for Japan and for the rest of the world has increased. Still, substantial increases in nuclear generating capacity are projected, including 149 gigawatts in China, 47 gigawatts in India, 31 gigawatts in Russia, and 27 gigawatts in South Korea (Figure 7).
World delivered energy use by sector
This section discusses delivered energy consumption in the buildings, industrial, and transportation sectors. Energy losses associated with electricity generation and transmission are not included in the consumption numbers.
Residential and commercial buildings
World residential energy use increases by 1.5 percent per year, from 52 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 82 quadrillion Btu in 2040, in the IEO2013 Reference case. Much of the growth in residential energy consumption occurs in non-OECD nations, where robust economic growth improves standards of living and increases demand for residential energy. One factor contributing to increased demand in non-OECD nations is the trend toward replacing nonmarketed energy sources (including wood and waste, which are not fully included in the energy demand totals shown in the IEO) with marketed fuels, such as propane and electricity, for cooking and heating. Non-OECD residential energy consumption rises by 2.5 percent per year, compared with the much slower rate of 0.4 percent per year for OECD countries, where patterns of residential energy use already are well established, and slower population growth and aging populations translate to smaller increases in energy demand.
Globally, IEO2013 projects average growth in commercial energy use of 1.8 percent per year through 2040, with the largest share of growth in non-OECD nations. OECD commercial energy use expands by 0.9 percent per year. Slow expansion of GDP and low or declining population growth in many OECD nations contribute to slower anticipated rates of growth in commercial energy demand. In addition, continued efficiency improvements moderate the growth of energy demand over time, as relatively inefficient equipment is replaced with newer, more efficient stock.
In the non-OECD nations, economic activity and commerce increase rapidly over the 2010-2040 projection period, fueling additional demand for energy in the service sectors. Total delivered commercial energy use among non-OECD nations grows by 3.2 percent per year from 2010 to 2040 in the Reference case. Population growth also is expected to be more rapid than in the OECD countries, resulting in increased needs for education, health care, and social services and the energy required to provide them. In addition, as developing nations mature, they are expected to transition to more service-related enterprises, which will increase demand for energy in the commercial sector.
Worldwide, industrial energy consumption grows from 200 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 307 quadrillion Btu in 2040 in the
Reference case. The industrial sector accounted for most of the 2008-2009 recession-induced reduction in world energy use in
2009, primarily because the impact of substantial cutbacks in manufacturing was more pronounced than the impact of marginal
reductions in energy use in other sectors. Non-OECD
economies account for about 86 percent of the world increase
in industrial sector energy consumption in the Reference
case (Figure 8). Rapid economic growth is projected for the non-OECD countries, accompanied by rapid growth in their combined total industrial energy consumption, averaging 1.8 percent per year from 2010 to 2040. Because OECD nations have been undergoing a transition from manufacturing economies to service economies in recent decades, and have relatively slow projected growth in economic output, industrial energy use in the OECD region as a whole grows by an average of only 0.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2040.
Energy use in the transportation sector includes the energy consumed in moving people and goods by road, rail, air, water, and pipeline. The transportation sector is second only to the industrial sector in terms of total end-use energy consumption. The transportation share of world total liquids consumption increases from 55 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2040 in the IEO2013 Reference case, accounting for 63 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption. Thus, understanding the development of transportation energy use is key in assessing future trends in demand for liquid fuels.
Sustained high world oil prices throughout the projection are partly the result of a strong increase in demand for transportation fuels, particularly in the emerging non-OECD economies, where income growth and demand for personal mobility, combined with rapid urbanization, will have the greatest impact on growth in world transportation energy use. In the IEO2013 Reference case, non-OECD transportation energy use grows by 2.2 percent per year from 2010 to 2040, and the non-OECD share of world demand for transportation liquids reaches 60 percent by the end of the projection (Figure 9). China, in particular, leads the projected global growth in transportation liquids demand, more than tripling its consumption from 8 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 26 quadrillion Btu by 2040. In 2010, China's transportation energy use was only one-third of that in the United States; in 2040, China is projected to consume about the same amount of energy for transportation as the United States.
High oil prices and the economic recession had more profound impacts in the OECD economies than in the non-OECD economies. OECD energy use for transportation declined by 2.0 percent in 2008, followed by a further decrease of 3.1 percent in 2009, before recovering to 0.8-percent growth in 2010. Indications are that high world oil prices and slow recovery from the recession, with Japan and several key OECD economies falling back into recession in 2012, will mean that OECD transportation energy demand will continue to grow slowly in the near- to mid-term. In addition, demand for transportation liquids in OECD countries will be tempered by policies aimed at instituting strong energy efficiency improvements. Over the projection period, OECD transportation energy use declines by an average of 0.1 percent per year.
World carbon dioxide emissions
World energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 31.2
billion metric tons in 2010 to 36.4 billion metric tons in 2020
and 45.5 billion metric tons in 2040 in the IEO2013 Reference
case—an increase of 46 percent over the projection period. With strong economic growth and continued heavy reliance on fossil fuels expected for most non-OECD economies under current policies, much of the projected increase in carbon dioxide emissions occurs among the developing non-OECD nations. In 2010, non-OECD emissions exceeded OECD emissions by 38 percent; in 2040, they are projected to exceed OECD emissions by about 127 percent. Coal continues to account for the largest share of carbon dioxide emissions throughout the projection (Figure 10).
Carbon intensity of output—the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output—is a common measureit is sometimes used as a stand-alone measure for tracking progress in relative emissions reductions. Energy-related carbon dioxide intensities improve (decline) in all IEO regions over the projection period, as economies continue to use energy more efficiently. Estimated carbon dioxide intensity declines by 1.9 percent per year in the OECD economies and by 2.7 percent per year in the non-OECD economies from 2010 to 2040 (Figure 11).
- World energy demand and economic outlook
- Liquid fuels
- Natural gas
- Industrial sector energy consumption
- Transportation sector energy consumption
- Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions
Reference Case Summary & Detailed Tables
Interactive Table Viewer ›
Provides custom data views of the IEO2013 Reference case and alternate cases.