The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) with updated projections for world energy markets through 2040. During this timeframe, world energy consumption is projected to increase more than 48 percent led by strong increases in Asia as well as China and India.
“Developing Asia accounts for more than half of the projected increase in global energy use through 2040,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski. “This increase will have a profound effect on the development of world energy markets.”
The report finds that clean energy technologies play an important role in the outlook, with renewables expected to be the fastest-growing energy source. IEO2016 projects renewables as the fastest-growing global energy source increasing 2.6 percent each year through 2040. However, fossil fuels will still supply more than three quarters of world energy use, albeit falling.
By 2040, coal, natural gas, and renewable energy sources provide roughly equal shares (28%-29%) of world electricity generation. This is a major change from 2012 when coal provided 40 percent of all power generation. Going forward, wind and hydropower are predicted to be the two largest contributors with an estimated two-thirds increase.
Interestingly, if the forecasts prove accurate the move away from fossil-fuel based electricity will not be enough to stave off carbon increases. IEO2016 finds worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will rise from 32 billion metric tons in 2012 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020 and then to 43 billion metric tons in 2040, a 34 percent increase from 2012 to 2040.