EIA’s International Energy Outlook (IEO) presents an analysis of long-term world energy markets in 16 regions1 through 2050.
Reference case projections in each edition of the IEO are not predictions of what is most likely to happen, but rather they are modeled projections under assumptions that reflect current energy trends and relationships, existing laws and regulations, and select incremental economic and technological changes over time.
We publish the IEO projections under the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, which requires that we analyze “international aspects, economic and otherwise, of the evolving energy situation” and “long-term relationships between energy supply and consumption in the United States and world communities.”
We develop the IEO using the World Energy Projection System (WEPS),2 an integrated economic model that captures long-term relationships among energy supply, demand, and prices across regional markets under various assumptions.
WEPS divides the world into 16 regions, which are generally determined based on a country’s economic size, OECD membership,3 location, and other factors. A region may contain one or more countries. Historically, OECD countries tend to have higher GDP per capita and energy patterns that reflect relatively more services and relatively less industrial activities within the economy, while the opposite tends to be true for non-OECD countries.
U.S. projections in the IEO2021 reflect the published projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2021,4 which assumes U.S. laws and regulations, current as of September 2020, remain unchanged.
Energy market projections are uncertain because the events that shape the future developments in technology, demographic changes, economic trends, government policy, and resource availability that drive energy use are fluid.
3IEO2021 regions are based off of OECD membership as of April 30, 2021.