The Future of Energy

industry-611668_960_720There’s a great deal of interest in energy issues. Energy is in high demand across the globe. The task at hand is to predict just how the world’s total energy consumption will increase. One government report does that. GPO makes available the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Agency (EIA)’s International Energy Outlook 2016. Not surprisingly, it shows rising levels of demand over the next three decades.

061-003-01167-5This report presents objective, sophisticated, and useful trend projections for world energy markets through 2040. IEO2016 focuses exclusively on marketed energy sources, divided according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members (OECD) and nonmembers. Projections are “not statements of what will happen, but what might happen…dependent on the data, methodologies, model structures, and assumptions.”

By 2040, energy consumption will have increased by 1.4% per year; consumers are predicted to use roughly 815 quadrillion Btu. China and India will account for more than half of this usage. Renewable energy will be the fastest growing of all energy sources—wind and hydropower will each account for one-third of this increase. Despite the renewables uptick, fossil fuels will continue to be the prevailing energy provider, supplying 3/4 of the world’s energy needs.

Interesting to note is the growth in natural gas production from shale resources. Shale gas production amounted to more than half of U.S. natural gas production in 2015. By 2030, natural gas will surpass coal as the world’s second largest energy source. By 2040, natural gas, coal, and renewables will each generate close to 30% of all electricity.

power-1549118_960_720EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski states that “with existing policies and regulations, worldwide energy-related CO2 emissions will…increase by 1/3 out to the year 2040.” And much of this will depend upon the uncertain factors of economic growth in developing countries, oil production, technology improvements, and nuclear energy generation.

IEO2016 provides an actionable glimpse into both the current status and the future of global energy production and consumption. Because what happens today will influence tomorrow.


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About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

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