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Today in Energy

July 25, 2013

EIA projects world energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040

Graph of global energy consumption, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2013.

EIA's recently released International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040, from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) to 820 quadrillion Btu. Most of this growth will come from non-OECD (non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, where demand is driven by strong economic growth.

Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world's fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing 2.5% per year. However, fossil fuels continue to supply nearly 80% of world energy use through 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel, as global supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane increase.

The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption and is projected to consume more than half of global delivered energy in 2040. Based on current policies and regulations governing fossil fuel use, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46% increase from 2010. Economic growth in developing nations, fueled by a continued reliance on fossil fuels, accounts for most of the emissions increases.

See the full IEO2013 for discussion on many other topics including

  • Effects of recovery from the global economic recession
  • Additions in net electricity generation
  • Rising global natural gas production
  • Trends in global liquid fuels production and use
  • Higher coal consumption in the near term