June 20th, 2006 15:10 EST
U.S. Energy Department Expects More Consumption Of Coal, Gas, Renewables
Washington -- A continued rise in prices is projected to dampen global demand for oil and spur use of more coal, natural gas and renewable energy over the next quarter century, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In a June 20 news release, the U.S. Energy Department agency said its annual International Energy Outlook report revises upward the 2030 average price of oil to $57 a barrel from $42 a barrel forecast in the 2005 report. EIA said the new figure reflects a "more pessimistic" view of the willingness of oil-rich countries to expand production capacity as aggressively as previously expected.
EIA projects that, as a result of higher prices, oil demand will decline and its share of total energy consumption will drop to 33 percent by 2030 from 38 percent in 2003. Still, global petroleum consumption is projected to rise by almost 40 percent in the same period with the United States, China and India together accounting for more than half of projected growth.
More than 60 percent of the increase in oil supply is expected to come from countries that currently are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Coal and natural gas are projected to increase their share of global energy consumption as demand rises for electric power and manufacturing.
The energy industry is seen in the report as relying increasingly on unconventional sources, such as oil sands, bitumen and biomass and on technologies such as coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids, not considered competitive until now.
In addition, higher fossil fuel prices and concerns about energy supplies are expected to improve prospects for nuclear power everywhere but Europe, where declines in nuclear capacity are projected.
The report projects the fastest energy consumption increase in big emerging markets, especially China and India, driven by strong economic growth. Much of the projected 75 percent increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 is expected to originate in strong-growth countries. Carbon dioxide is widely suspected of contributing to global climate change.
The news release and the report (PDF, 202 pages) are available on the EIA Web site.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)