World marketed energy consumption will grow 49 percent between 2007 and 2035, driven by economic growth in the developing nations of the world, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2010 (IEO2010) released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The global economic recession that began in 2007 has had a profound impact on near-term prospects for world energy demand. Total marketed energy consumption contracted by 1.2 percent in 2008 and by an estimated 2.2 percent in 2009, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services declined.

In the reference case, as the economic situation improves, most nations are expected to return to the economic growth rates that were projected prior to the downturn. Total world energy use is projected to rise from 495 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2007 to 739 quadrillion Btu in 2035.

China and India are among the nations least affected by the global recession, and they will continue to lead the world’s economic and energy demand growth into the future. In 2007, China and India together accounted for about 20 percent of total world energy consumption. With strong economic growth in both countries over the projection period, their combined energy use is projected to more than double by 2035, when they will account for 30 percent of world energy use in the IEO2010 reference case. In contrast, the reference case projects U.S. share of world energy consumption will fall from 21 percent in 2007 to about 16 percent in 2035.

Average world oil prices increased strongly from 2003 to July 2008, then declined sharply over the rest of 2008. In 2009, oil prices again trended upward, and this trend continues in the reference case, with prices rising to $108 per barrel by 2020 (in real 2008 dollars) and $133 per barrel by 2035. Total liquid fuels consumption projected for 2035 is 28 percent or 24.5 million barrels per day higher than the 2007 level of 86.1 million barrels per day.

Other report highlights include the following:

• From 2007 to 2035, total world energy consumption is predicted to rise by an average annual 1.4 percent.
• Petroleum and other liquid fuels are predicted to remain the largest energy source worldwide through 2035, though projected higher oil prices may erode their share of total energy use from 35 percent in 2007 to 30 percent in 2035.
• World natural gas consumption is projected to increase 1.3 percent per year, from 108 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 156 trillion cubic feet in 2035.
• In the absence of additional national policies and/or binding international agreements that would limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, world coal consumption is projected to increase from 132 quadrillion Btu in 2007 to 206 quadrillion Btu in 2035, at an average annual rate of 1.6 percent.
• World net electricity generation is projected to increase by 87 percent, from 18.8 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2007 to 35.2 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2035.
• Renewables are projected to be the fastest growing source of new electricity generation, increasing by 3 percent per year in the reference case.

Full IEO2010 Highlights can be found at www.eia.doe.gov.